Google Small Business Network Update – Edition #5
Issues of Concern: Jobs and Network Neutrality
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Jobs and Innovation
Following a recent White House Summit on Jobs, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said: “The basic message today is that with small business – which is the primary source of jobs – we need to figure out the loan problem. The banks aren’t really lending to them and anything that the government can do to accelerate that, needs to happen right now.” Check out more in his video interview here.

The “Small Business Innovation to Job Creation Act of 2010” was introduced in the House on January 27 by Rep. Paul Tonko of New York. The bill looks to authorize the Small Business Administration to make grants on a competitive basis to small business concerns to assist in the commercialization of research developed by small business owners. To read the full text, click here.
Network Neutrality
Last month, we filed our comments on the FCC’s proposed rules that would protect and promote open broadband pipes to the Internet. The Open Internet Coalition, of which Google is a member, also filed comments, including two stories from members of our Small Business Network. Here’s what they had to say:

“For the majority of our 31 year history, our small family owned business had a hard time convincing new guests it was a good idea to vacation on the ocean. If anyone had heard of the Outer Banks of North Carolina, it was either windy enough to help the Wright Brothers fly the first plane or isolated enough to be a favorite haunt of Blackbeard the pirate. Since the introduction of the Internet, Twiddy & Company’s supply of vacation rental homes has increased by 41%, and the number of rented vacation weeks has grown by 69%. The number of employees at the company has grown by 33%. In a stunningly small amount of time, the Internet became the essential channel guests use to help plan and determine their vacation. It’s also become the main focus of our company’s marketing and advertising strategies. The backbone of this unprecedented growth is connectivity. Now, more than ever, the Internet influences guests’ behavior and spending decisions. It is the catalyst; without it, the market develops bottlenecks. ” – Ross Twiddy, Twiddy & Co. Realtors

“As a viable business, we employ nine individuals in a region hard-hit by layoffs across all sectors. We pay taxes and help support over 100 suppliers of furniture, lighting, and services. We participate in community programs and maintain an ‘A+’ rating with the Better Business Bureau. And yet, none of this would exist if our customers had anything less than unimpeded access to websites across the internet. We share this conviction with other retailers and our competitors, both large and small, across the country. As businesses, we expect to pay for advertising visibility across the search engine spectrum. Expecting our customers to pay for tiered access would neutralize our advertising efforts and cripple otherwise vibrant businesses like Carolina Rustica.”
– Richard Sexton, Carolina Rustica

We hope you will take some time to contact your Congressman and share your thoughts with the FCC, too. If you’re interested in placing your story on a national basis, we’d like to work with you on our campaign.

Products for your Small Business
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Cloud Computing was recently listed as one of the Top Small Business Technology Trends for 2010. Check out our Cloud Computing solutions for business here.

With our new upload features, you can:
• Upload files up to 250MB in size to Google’s cloud in Google Docs
• Access your files from any computer or location
• Make it easier for teams to collaborate, organize, view, and share information

For example, we see architects sharing schematics with construction firms, web developers sharing Cad Cam files with clients, salespeople sharing signature pages and contracts with clients, and photographers sharing raw files with clients.

Rather than sending files as attachments in email messages that are difficult to keep organized, upload files to a shared folder. Your teammates can just open the shared folder in Google Docs to access the files.

You can access files you upload to Google Docs from any browser. Accessing shared project files no longer requires a connection to the internal office network. Rather than carrying a USB drive or emailing files to yourself, you can connect to Google Docs from any computer with access to the internet.

And you don’t need to carry around a thumb drive anymore. Files uploaded to Google Docs are backed up in the cloud and if your computer has a problem, you’ll be able to access the files you’ve stored in Google Docs.

For ideas on how you can better utilize cloud computing at your business, check out this story: “Upload feature turns Google Docs into my new hard drive.”

How You Can Get More Involved
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Track where your Members of Congress stands on Net Neutrality by using this online tool that maps their views by state and provides a database searchable by zip code. Let them know about why preserving Network Neutrality is vital for small business growth online by sending a standardized letter through the website. And join our Network Neutrality campaign by signing up here – take action to ensure that customers can continue access your website.

Have an interesting story about how the Internet has changed your business? We want to hear it! Send us your story at smbnetwork-external@google.com. And share the tips and tricks you’ve used to make your business successful on our Moderator page.

Keep an eye out for our next series of updates!