The first three weeks of Google's Getting Aussie Business Online initiative, in partnership with accounting software company MYOB, have seen 4100 businesses take up the offer of a year's free Web site services. Businesses get two years' free .com.au domain registration, $75 of Google AdWords advertising credits, and a year's access to an 'easy to set up' Web site.
Since the initiative's launch at the start of March, an average of eight businesses per hour have set up new Web sites. MYOB CEO Tim Reed is pleased with the site's initial success: “We’re thrilled that more than 4100 small business owners have already set up their free Web site. It’s a clear sign that once you remove the barriers of cost, lack of knowledge and time for Aussie business owners, they are keen to get online and be part of the digital economy.” The Getting Aussie Business Online initiative aims to get 50,000 Australian small businesses online by the end of the year.
Any Australian small business can visit the Getting Aussie Business Online Web site, and create a Web site with the average time taken around 15 minutes. While the template-based service is available to any Australian citizen with an ABN, the service is tailored to customer-facing small businesses, with the automated setup process asking for optional opening hours and a store-front location.