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The Power of Broadband for Small Business

March 3rd, 2010 by Dave Vorhaus - Expert Advisor, Economic Opportunity

Small businesses and entrepreneurs are the life-blood of the American economy. They create jobs, create wealth, and drive the country forward through innovation and ingenuity. Small businesses employ more than half of America’s workers and account for most of America’s net new job growth each year. Thus supporting these businesses with cutting edge connectivity and technology tools is not just a good idea; it is a vital national purpose.

But the story of broadband for small businesses and entrepreneurs is not just one of basic access and adoption, as the vast majority of businesses have a broadband connection of some fashion today. It is also a story of education and usage. Broadband is a tool, and like any tool, its utility is predicated on being applied correctly. In the case of broadband, this means allowing businesses to take advantage of new services, new applications and new business models that are only possible in a world of high-speed, reliable connectivity. Large businesses with dedicated IT staffs and broad resources can rise to this opportunity internally with tools such as e-commerce, knowledge sharing, online collaboration, videoconferencing and many others. But small businesses have more pressing concerns. The owner of a 15-person retail shop is worried about day-to-day operations, managing finances and keeping the business running. He doesn’t have time to research how an online inventory management system could improve his business’ efficiency and reduce his costs, much less install such a system.

For that reason, the National Broadband Plan is focusing on ways to increase knowledge, training and assistance for small businesses in using broadband. Rather than asking small businesses to seek out the tools that make broadband transformative to their businesses, we want to help lay those tools at their feet. Our working recommendations deal with counseling for small businesses, support programs and networks of assistance for entrepreneurs, and making broadband tools and training key cogs in the federal government’s existing small business support efforts. Working in close partnership with the Small Business Administration, the Economic Development Administration, the Department of Labor, and a myriad of leading private firms from all corners of the communications and technology industries, we aim to maximize the impact of broadband by helping small businesses put it to the optimal use.

Tomorrow, Chairman Genachowski and SBA Administrator Karen Mills will highlight these issues at 10:00 AM at the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development, Old Chamber’s Conference room. Joining them will be Warren Brown, CEO of CakeLove and Todd Sharp, President of Engage, Inc, two individuals who have first-hand knowledge of the profound effects that broadband can have on a small business. We hope to see you many of you there.
 

2 Responses to “The Power of Broadband for Small Business”

  1. Guest says:

    This Sounds like a great opportunity. I will be looking forward to this.

  2. Guest says:

    The power of broadband is that it can help us to promote our business online. You can also make a deal and post on our site for free at dealstop.com

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