Councils Join Forces to Get Local Businesses Online

Councils Join Forces to Get Local Businesses Online

Friday, February 12, 2016

A group of forward thinking North Island District Councils are joining forces to support small businesses in their region to succeed online.

#GetDigital is a regional initiative supported by Whanganui, Rangitikei and South Taranaki District Councils, with more councils in the region looking likely to follow.

The campaign, set to run over the next three years, provides businesses in the regions with tools, events and resources aimed at helping them get online and more digitally engaged.

At the centre of the campaign is the AboutUs small business platform, which after a successful trial in Whanganui is now being rolled out to the other districts around the region.

AboutUs provides businesses with a free web presence, digital resources and local coverage of success stories, all aimed at boosting their online profile. With an estimated 60% of small businesses having no web presence at all, AboutUs provides businesses with the crucial first step on an ongoing online journey.

"Digital engagement is a massive driver of economic growth, particularly in the regions" says Whanganui Mayor Annette Main.

"Businesses that embrace digital can increase turn over by up to 30%. When you apply that across the region, it has a huge impact.

"The Whanganui District Council has been at the forefront of digital engagement and we were recently honoured to be chosen as Smart21 for the fourth year in a row. The #GetDigital initiative is a part of the innovation that Whanganui has become renowned for."

Rangitikei Mayor Andy Watson, agrees. "Getting digital is a huge opportunity for regional New Zealand. Here in Rangitikei, we have businesses who understand the importance and reap the benefits of a great online presence. Our business community can reach a global audience online. We want to encourage more of our businesses to take full advantage of the opportunities that #Get Digital will deliver."

South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop, is also enthusiastic about #GetDigital. "Taranaki as a region is out on its own geographically, so we need our businesses to be thinking beyond their local horizons and connecting with the world. Anything that promotes digital literacy in our business community is a good thing, and we're excited to be involved in this cross-regional initiative."

To get your business online, please visit www.aboutus.co.nz.