Driving Community Benefits – How do we get the most out of our broadband?
Broadband and digital infrastructure for local residents and businesses is essential for communities to remain relevant and competitive – but it is not enough.
Community and economic benefits come from how broadband is used. SNG has programs and experience to drive meaningful use of online practices in order to maximize local economic growth, community benefits, and network sustainability
Meaningful Change Does Not Just Happen
Years of SNG research have shown that businesses who use the internet more effectively generate more income and save on costs compared to those that do not. Growing revenues and cost efficiencies means increased profits and faster growth – which creates more jobs. Businesses that use the internet to a high degree report higher job creation.
The bottom line is that when businesses use online practices it accelerates their growth and creates new jobs for the community. Yet 70 percent of small businesses do not fully utilize broadband’s potential. This represents a missed opportunity for those businesses and for the community as a whole.
If broadband can deliver such clear value for businesses, why are more businesses not benefiting? For most businesses the primary reason is a lack of time, resources, expertise, and skills to look at what more they could be doing online. Change will not happen without overcoming these time and expertise challenges. For a community or region this is critical because they will miss out on broadband investments, job growth, business attraction, and being seen as a place to work and live.
Small businesses are willing and able to do more online once the opportunity and reasons are clearly understood. It becomes just another business decision – “is it worth doing?” – and what they need is the relevant information and assistance to make those decisions. Driving economic growth through broadband means helping businesses make decisions that are right for them. They benefit and the community benefits.
SNG has applied our industry-leading research to guide individual businesses toward online practices that have clear financial benefit to them, along with easily digestible information to help them take the steps they need. Communities and economic development authorities can unleash the untapped potential of your existing business community for economic growth.
Learn more about SNG’s Small Business Growth Program and how you can help your business community be even more successful.