Report shows Google’s huge economic impact on Alabama businesses
Google this week announced the results of its annual Alabama economic impact report, with the numbers showing that the company’s online resources mean big money for Yellowhammer State businesses.
The report outlined that 9,700 businesses, publishers and nonprofits in Alabama used Google search and advertising tools to connect with the people and communities they serve during 2018 – generating $923 million in economic activity. By using Google products, businesses increased their online presence and were able to grow, bringing more money and jobs into the local economy.
This is the 10th consecutive year that Google has released this report.
It comes after a recent national study by Deloitte found that over 80% of small businesses are not fully using online digital tools.
That same report determined the following:
● Digital small businesses are nearly three times as likely to have created new jobs in the last year
● Digital small businesses are seeing four times higher revenue growth
● Digital small businesses are almost three times as likely to reach more customers via increased calls, leads and sales inquiries
● Digital small businesses are three times as likely to have exported a product or service
“For small businesses across the U.S., the web is the most powerful tool to attract new customers and retain existing ones,” Mary Ellen Coe, president of Google Customer Solutions, said in a statement.
She added, “Last year, our search and advertising tools helped generate billions of dollars in economic activity for millions of businesses – helping to create a lasting impact on local communities. And we look forward to working with Alabama business, nonprofits and publishers to help their businesses grow.”
The report advised that Google provided $1.12 million in free advertising to Alabama nonprofits in 2018 through a grant program.
Google’s Alabama economic impact report specifically detailed how The Happy Catering Company in Homewood used digital tools to increase their online presence and reach customers. This full-service catering company in Jefferson County utilizes Google Ads to get noticed by new customers and Google Analytics to measure online ad performance. Happy Catering has successfully grown since its founding in 1998 to a team of 50 serving nearly 300,000 customers annually.
The report also featured Back Forty Beer Company in Gadsden and Net Direct Merchants in Florence.
To support more small businesses, Google launched its Grow with Google initiative to help create economic opportunity for Americans. Drawing on Google’s history of building products, platforms and services that help people and businesses grow, the initiative aims to give Americans access to the best of Google’s training and tools to grow their skills, careers and businesses.
In August 2018, Grow with Google came to Alabama to hold in person workshop trainings in local libraries. To support their local organizations’ efforts to teach digital skills, the initiative created the Grow with Google Partner Program to empower nonprofits, libraries, government agencies, educational institutions and other organizations with a range of digital skills resources. Organizations apply to the program and once accepted can use it as a hub for training content, tools and promotional materials. Partners can leverage customized toolkits for getting started, hosting trainings and sharing Grow with Google programs and resources with their community.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn