SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - People from nearly 200 small businesses gathered in downtown Santa Barbara for a free Internet seminar hosted by Google.
The online giant is on a mission to get American businesses online by creating websites where potential clients and customers can find them by simply Googling.
"We want to change the perception out there that getting online is hard, that it's expensive and time-consuming" Google's director of small business engagement, Scott Levitan, said. "The truth is, getting online can take you about an hour."
According to Google, 97 percent of Internet users look for local goods and services online. Yet 62 percent of California business don't have a website. Google is working to change that.
"There is a big need for this gathering," Rep. Lois Capps (D) said. "There's a big need for the word to get out that one of the ways we can help small businesses grow in this country is to get on board online and use the resources we have available."
Google is offering these free seminars as part of the "Get your business online" campaign.
Most if not all of the small business owners in attendance left with a business listing on Google and with an easy-to-build website.