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Sen. Capito, business owners attend Google’s “Let’s Put Charleston on the Map’ event

Capito at Google Event
U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. welcomes business owners and representatives of Google to Wednesday’s ‘Let’s Put Charleston on the Map’ seminar at the Clay Center. West Virginia Press Association Photo by Don Smith.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With dozens of small business owners and U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va. in attendance, representatives of Google presented a ‘Let’s Put Charleston on the Map’ seminar at the Clay Center Wednesday.

Google Crowd
A team from Google took more than 60 business representatives explain programs and techniques to small business owners from the Charleston area and around the state during Wednesday’s “Let’s put Charleston on the Map” seminar by Google. West Virginia Press Association Photo by Don Smith.

With a focus on helping small business owners get more attention through Google searches and their online presence, a team from Google took about 100 business representatives from the Charleston area and around the state through the programs and techniques.

Sen. Capito said the goal was “more business, more jobs and more prosperity.”

Among other information, attendees received instructions on websites and increasing visibility on Google. The event featured workshops to help small businesses build their online presence with a free website and listings on Google Maps and Search. Businesses also received a customized domain name, free web hosting for a year and other free training and resources.

According to Google representatives, the Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map Program aims to provide businesses across the country with practical solutions that will allow them to be discovered easily by people searching for products and services online. By making the process of getting online faster, easier and free, more customers will be able to find businesses in their areas when they turn to the Web for information.

“Small businesses of all kinds benefitted from today’s workshop, and it was inspiring to see West Virginia’s entrepreneurial spirit in action,” said Sen. Capito. “These same businesses are the backbone of our local communities, and power our state’s economy. Through my Capito Connect Plan, I am working hard to get more West Virginia businesses online, and today’s workshop was a step in the right direction.”

“With customers increasingly turning to technology to search for what they need, it’s important that local businesses can be found online when people are looking for them,” said Soo Young Kim, head of Google’s Get Your Business Online Program. “We want Charleston small businesses to be online and on the map to continue shaping communities around the country,” she said.

According to the presentation, four out of five people use search engines to find local information, like business hours and addresses and businesses with complete listings are twice as likely to be considered reputable by customers.

According to information from the seminar, when local businesses are online, local economies benefit. Complete business information can help generate economic value up to $300,000 in smaller cities or up to $7,000,000 for larger cities, according the the presenters.

Business owners can go to to see how they currently show up on Google and can update their listings there for free. They also can build a free website and find helpful resources for building a successful business online.


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