Google adds to online tools to support small businesses with economic recovery

Google is to offer small businesses new tools to help improve their online presence and reach more customers, as part of its effort to boost the UK economy post-lockdown.

The tech giant announced a support scheme in June to help small businesses become more visible online.

Now, it is launching an additional free tool that will provide bespoke recommendations to firms on the best products and resources that will help them get online for the first time or improve their existing presence.

It is part of the firm’s Open for Business initiative, which has committed to helping one million small British businesses stay open by making them easier to be found online.

It comes as the firm has published research which suggests 85% of people believe businesses having up-to-date details, for example new opening hours and what Covid-19 prevention measures were in place, was important.

It also found that nearly nine out of 10 people (88%) in the UK believe having the confidence to venture out into their local area and visiting local businesses is important to the UK’s economic recovery.

The study showed that 38% of people had shopped at local businesses more regularly during lockdown, and that 88% of those said they would be more likely to choose to do so in the future.

Google UK managing director Ronan Harris said: “Local businesses are the lifeblood of our communities.

“Like millions up and down the country, we want to help local businesses both survive and thrive.

“The results of this research show we’re more likely to visit a business if we’re confident in knowing what we’ll find when we get there.

“From something as simple as updating opening hours, posting a review or a photo of anti-Covid measures taken by a business, we can all help make a positive impact by sharing online information for our favourite local businesses.”