Are you Australia’s Regional Online Hero?

Businesses across Australia, from Broome to Bendigo, are using the web to innovate and grow. Like Tambo Teddies, the teddy bear producer in Central Queensland using the internet to reach new customers across Australia and overseas.

Research suggests that digitally engaged small businesses are more likely to be expanding, which is great news for jobs and local communities. We know that many regional businesses are doing great things online, so we’ve teamed up with the Regional Australia Institute to identify the next Regional Online Heroes.

Whether they are using online marketing to attract new customers or creating an entirely online operation, any small to medium regional business can apply.

We want to find those business people already leading the way with digital engagement and offer them the chance to share their story and develop new skills at an exclusive masterclass at Google in Sydney.

Last year more than 170 small businesses from across Australia applied, ranging from honey producers in Queensland and Broken Hill’s outback astronomers, to jewellery makers from the Western Australian wheatbelt. Ten finalists were selected in 2015, with Tambo Teddies taking out the national title.

Regional Australia Institute’s, Jack Archer; Hon Michael McCormack MP; Tambo Teddies owner and 2015 Regional Online Hero, Alison Shaw; and Google’s Head of Small Business, John Ball

To apply, businesses should outline how digital engagement has helped their business - maybe it has boosted sales or made it easier to reach new customers.

Applications are now open and will close on 28 October. If you know a small business owner in regional Australia that’s using the internet to grow, encourage them to nominate now!