Google and Regional Australia Institute looking for top Australian regional online business

Calling regional online innovators! Google and the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) are looking for the country’s ‘Regional Online Heroes’. The countrywide competition has been launched to identify the top small and medium regional businesses (SMBs) that are using the Internet to grow.

The reward? The top 10 winners will be flown to Google’s Sydney HQ and rewarded with a masterclass this November to help them grow their business even faster.

The partnership between Google and RAI recognises the importance of technology and digital innovation for business success in regional Australia. Research by PwC shows Australia’s SMBs could unlock $49 billion of economic value if they made better use of online and mobile technologies. Additionally, 53% of this benefit could be realised in rural and regional Australia.

“Our research shows one of our greatest national competitive challenges is ensuring regions have the strategies and support necessary to make the most of the Internet,” RAI CEO Jack Archer said.

“We’ve seen firsthand the significant impact an online strategy can have for regional businesses. It’s a challenge every regional business owner needs to step up to, and our biggest responsibility as a nation to support,” Mr Archer continued.

This national hunt for regional online innovators is meant to encourage regional SMBs around the country to recognise the potential of mobile and Internet technologies.

“Regional Australia has some of the most innovative, clever small businesses in the country,” said John Ball, Head of Small Business at Google Australia.

“They are using the Internet to grow, hire more people and contribute to their community - and we want to help them do even more. Small businesses that are making the most of the Internet are twice as likely to be growing as those that aren’t. But all small businesses in Australia deserve to see the benefits of being online. We hope this initiative will encourage more small businesses to get online and grow.”

Regional small businesses can enter online at Participants can enter the competition until Wednesday 21st October 2015.

The judges will be looking for regional businesses that can show how the digital world has helped them in one or more of the following ways:

• Growing revenue

• Finding new customers

• Exporting overseas

• Hiring new staff

• Giving back to the local community

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