We’re looking for Regional Online Heroes

Wherever and whenever they are, Australia’s regional small business owners are putting in the hard yards to make their business grow - and increasingly, they are using the internet to do it. Their success means regional jobs, prosperity and thriving communities.

So we have teamed up with the Regional Australia Institute on a hunt for regional businesses who have grown by being online. We’ll then reward ten of the best with a unique money-can’t-buy experience: a visit to Google’s HQ in Sydney for a growth masterclass designed to help their business grow even faster.

Any regional business that uses the internet to grow is eligible - that could mean anything from using online marketing to attract interstate customers, expanding from a bricks and mortar store to selling online, or managing a team across borders using shared documents on the cloud.

We need your help! If you know of a regional small business owner that’s doing a great job using the internet to grow, please get them to nominate their business today. The form asks a few simple questions about the impact the internet has had on the business - whether it has helped boost sales, start exports or allowed the business give back to the community.

We’re looking for people like Michael Everett at Village Bakery in Dubbo. Village Bakery uses online marketing to attract customers from all over Australia, including tourists who haven’t yet set foot in the town. The bakery also uses Google Maps to plot routes for delivery vans, saving on petrol costs and ensuring people get their bread on time.

The website contains more detail on what the judges are looking for. With ten spots up for grabs, there’s a good chance of being selected. But even those who don’t make the masterclass have a lot to gain: PwC research shows that regional Australia could generate an additional $26 billion of economic value if small businesses simply made the most of existing digital and mobile technologies. That’s great news for small business, and great news for regional Australia.

Posted by John Ball, Head of Small Business, Google Australia