Google in push to get British businesses online

Google in push to get British businesses online

Summary: Online companies have teamed up with the government on a campaign that aims to get small UK companies onto the web

TOPICS: Tech Industry

Google, BT, PayPal and a number of other partners have launched a campaign to get 100,000 small UK businesses onto the web by the end of the year.

Get British Business Online (GBBO), launched on Thursday, allows businesses to set up a free website by entering basic information about the company. Features include Google Maps business listings, website data via Google Analytics and telephone support from BT. PayPal said it will shortly allow the free websites to accept e-commerce payments

The campaign is an initiative of core partners BT, Enterprise UK, e-Skills UK and Google. It is supported by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), as well as by PayPal and the Institute of Directors. The partners said they are also working with a number of regional business advice organisations around the UK.

Google UK managing director Matt Brittin said consumers are increasingly turning to the web to find information on local businesses, yet he estimated 1.5 million businesses do not have a web presence. Small businesses tend to view the web as complicated or costly, or do not see the advantage in having a website, he said.

"With over 40 million people in the UK now online, there has never been a better time for small businesses to use the internet," he said in a statement.

The campaign has received the support of the government, although BIS said it is not directly funding GBBO.

Business secretary Lord Mandelson said businesses should be encouraged to take advantage of the internet's opportunities in order to support economic recovery. "GBBO brings together valuable support to set up a website, and training to make the most of the internet," he said in a statement.

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • What utter tosh.

    ... not DIRECTLY funding ... but I bet there a fair wodge of dosh going there indirectly.

    I wonder how putting money in the coffers of Mandlebrot's friends will help UK small businesses.

    I have a better idea, don't only keep all the money in the UK, but use it to give small firms a tax break.
  • i posted this on the gbbo help site yesterday as the system is fraught with problems wich actualy prevent us fledgling businessess from gettin a website up and running.

    HELPLINE Read on for ways to help ourselves
    I feel that perhaps the GBBO staff may need some additional suport and perhaps training in the GBBO initiative website buildingto aid them with requests by end users.
    I have asked for help and advice in areas of my site development and use of google apps to assist this.
    I have had a look at the profiles of the members of staff who are in place to help us with setup problems after reading through many of the problems listed in the GBBO site as employees http://customer-service.bttradespace....
    If you look at the profiles next to their names you will discover that 5 out of the 6 already have websites with the 6th is the GBBO site rep.

    Now i think its fair to say that these part-time employees in place to help us specificaly with GBBO, are acquainted with the sites, were they have for their own business sites, which are a diferent kettle of fish from the GBBO sites we are using and maybe have not tried to make their own gbbo websites so do not appreciate the
    problems we face.

    This perhaps explains in part why we do not have the access to the appropriate parts of our domains and sites we should expect ..such as the ability to change CNAME and control over page layout and HTML to mention issues i have raised and contributed to ..

    HOOK line and sinker we got caught here i believe the saying is

    We are forced to use google sites to work on our sites and when they ask for owner verification ....we cant even do that because the info on
    is wrong we are forced to ask for assistance and the GBBO staff are apparently more capable than we are so that is there job....not still waiting for my CNAME
    settings to be altered

    rest of this article located here
    John Brown

    I’m frustrated
  • It is a great idea but there are some serious issues, the primary one being that google sites is really not very good, certainly not suitable for building a professional looking business website. Lots of people are complaining about this, which is why we have setup our own initiative to help people who are not happy with their GBBO site. And yes we also offer a FREE option using a web site creator. The honest truth is that you usually do need to spend a few quid to do it properly unless you have the skills to do it yourself.
    Capt Obvious