Gov. Nathan Deal discusses his ideas for budget cuts and ways to improve the state's bottom line, including adjusting education programs, changing the state's aviation programs as well as other measures to insure a healthy state economy, during a meeting with reporters at the state Capitol in Atlanta on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/David Tulis)Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
ATLANTA — Gov. Nathan Deal announced Monday that Georgia has formed a partnership with Google to bring free websites to small businesses across the state.
Deal said the initiative is aimed at helping small businesses grow and find new customers. Participating businesses can go to www.georgiagetonline.com and develop a free website, as well as free tools, training and other resources.
State officials estimate that more than half of small businesses in Georgia do not have a website.
"One of the best ways we can help our economy expand is to help Georgia businesses increase their visibility online," Deal said in a news release.
Google is partnering with Intuit, an online business website tool, to offer easy-to-build websites, a customized domain name and free web hosting for one year for small businesses. Google's director of small business engagement, Scott Levitan, said the program is aimed at businesses that have avoided building a website because they are worried it's too difficult or expensive.
"The perception that getting online is complex, costly and time-consuming has prevented many Georgia small businesses from taking the first step," Levitan said. "This program makes it fast, easy and free for businesses to get online."
Georgia joins a host of other states — from Kanas to Texas to Vermont — and 23 countries working with Google's Get Your Business Online program.