Whistler’s Small Businesses Garner Google Award

Whistler’s Peak to Peak gondola

Whistler’s business community is among the top five in Canada for its online presence

Google Canada announced Whistler, B.C. as one of five Canadaian communities to receive its’ eTown award for 2013, recognizing municipalities whose businesses are investing in online tools and resources and connecting with customers via the web.

More than half of Canadian small businesses do not have a website, according to Google, which pointed to a McKinsey study showing that businesses with an online presence grow twice as fast and hire twice as many employees than their offline counterparts.

“Ninety-seven percent of Canadians who use the Internet—pretty much all of us—look online for local products and services. So it should come as no surprise that the impact on businesses of being online is huge,” said Chris O’Neill, managing director at Google Canada in a blog post.

Google collaborated with market research firm IPSOS to evaluate the online strength of small businesses in cities and towns across Canada. The firm tallied the prevalence of Google AdWords users across every postal code in Canada and divided that number by each postal code’s respective population. IPSOS looked at a variety of factors, including listings in online directories, small business websites, e-commerce capabilities and blogging.

Google Canada recognized four other municipalities across the country, including Newmarket, Ontario; Saint-Sauveur, Québec; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Canmore, Alberta.