DLDA, Google, others partner for free skills workshop for small businesses

Published 9:15 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

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On Wednesday, Google, along with the Downtown LaGrange Development Authority, Main Street America and BeeTV’s April Ross hosted a free digital skills workshop for local small businesses.

The workshop, “Get Your Business on Local Search and Maps,” is aimed to help small businesses learn how to use Google tools to maintain their online presence, unlock new sources of revenue and connect with new and existing customers.

Ross, who was chosen as Google’s digital coach for Georgia, said she is excited to help small businesses grow.

“It is an exciting time for LaGrange and for the state of Georgia. For LaGrange particularly to be chosen as the flagship to offer free tools and services to small businesses, who are trying to capture audiences and capture new clients from the outside is amazing,” Ross said. “We hope after today people will know how to put their business on the map with Google.”

Lucy Pinto, senior marketing manager of Grow with Google, said Ross was chosen as the digital coach for Grow with Google for her use and success of Google to market her business.

“We felt that April could really bring value to other small businesses in her community by teaching them how to adopt those tools and make it less daunting,” Pinto said. “She’s a business owner herself, so she speaks the language of small businesses and can make the content and the digital tools available and accessible to others who might be in the shoes that she was in two years ago when she was just starting out.”

Bill Hunnicutt, executive director of DTLA, said the partnership with Grow with Google is a huge step for LaGrange.

“Back in the day, we were some of the first to have the internet technology in our downtown. This town thrives on being a place where families and businesses can come to grow. To have free classes to help our small businesses thrive is a huge impact on our local economy and what we plan to do moving forward,” Hunnicutt said.

“We have found that small businesses in our downtown and throughout the state of Georgia really need help with digital coaching social media and using Google’s platform is a great way for them to do that. To have April here to teach them how to do it and help them grow is a big part of all small businesses getting into the internet world.”

Pinto said small businesses who take advantage of the free digital coaching will have the opportunity to cover a wide range of tools from soft skills, building their brand online, core digital tools, like how to use Google Analytics to better understanding website traffic, and how to list their business on Google.

Upon choosing LaGrange for the Grow with Google program, Pinto said LaGrange had a strong ecosystem of partners and initiatives that help support small businesses.

“We are very excited to work with the DTLA and Main Street America national to bring free resources to the community,” Pinto said. “We know that sometimes communities that might be outside of metropolitan areas might not get as many resources as those that are. By partnering with organizations like DTLA we’re able to bring those free digital skills, training and digital tools to small business owners so that they can learn how to build their online presence and grow through the help of digital tools.”

She said digital tools are critical as small businesses across Georgia work to be more competitive amid economic uncertainty. The workshops will help small business owners grow their earning potential through digital skills.