Fairfield businesses encouraged to increase online presence


Fairfield has launched an initiative to get local businesses online. Shown, from left, are First Selectman Michael Tetreau, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Beverly Balaz and Community and Economic Development Director Mark Barnhart.

In partnership with Google and the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, First Selectman Michael Tetreau has announced a year-long initiative to get Fairfield’s businesses online through Google’s Get Your Business Online program.

Although 97% of Internet users are now looking online to find local products and services, 58% of American businesses still do not have a website. Through increased participation in the Get Your Business Online program, the town’s Department of Community and Economic Development and the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce hope to close that gap.

Get Your Business Online provides small business owners with a custom domain name, web hosting and access to educational resources — all free for one year. Since its debut in July 2011, the program has helped more than 300,000 businesses successfully get online and start growing.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy, and businesses that are online grow faster and are twice as likely to create jobs,” said Mark Barnhart, director of Community and Economic Development. “Their stories of success are our stories of success, and that is why the town is delighted to partner with Google and the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce on this important new initiative.”

“The misconception that getting online is complex, costly and time-consuming has prevented many small businesses from taking the first step,” said Scott Levitan, director of small business engagement at Google. “This program makes it fast, easy and free for businesses to get online.

The announcement adds Fairfield to a growing list of communities planning to take advantage of Google’s Get Your Business Online program this year.

“Businesses have to be where their customers are,” said Beverly Balaz, executive director of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce said. “In 2014, that’s online.”

For more information on this program, interested business owners may visit gybo.com or contact Mark Barnhart at 203-256-3120 or Beverly Balaz at 203-255-1011.

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