Addison is home to 170 bars and restaurants, beautiful parks and natural areas, friendly residents, countless businesses, and nationally recognized events like Kaboom Town! and Addison Oktoberfest. This is a city where you can have it all — all the perks of a big city and the quiet, residential life of a small one. Residents and business owners, people who have chosen to call Addison home, have always known how great this place is. Now, Addison has been recognized by one of the biggest companies in the nation.
Google has named Addison as the 2014 eCity for the State of Texas — an award that last year went to Austin. The eCity Awards go to one city each year to each of the 50 states that have the strongest online business communities. Strong online business communities refer to businesses that are using the web to expand their consumer base and connect with current clients, thereby fueling local economies.
Orlando Campos, director of economic development and tourism for Addison, explains why he believes Google has chosen to recognize Addison this year.
“Over the last few years, Addison has become a very tech-savvy community,” Campos explains. “As an organization, we see it through our efforts to utilize technology to enhance our work, but more importantly are the type of companies that call Addison home. Addison has become a destination for technology related firms who utilize the internet to grow their businesses and who provide businesses to business resources in helping companies take stronger advantage of the digital world. At the Addison TreeHouse, for example, most of our start-ups utilize the internet as their main source of communication and vehicle for marketing. Most local businesses are driven by young Millennials who are true leaders in the digital revolution; so it was not surprising to receive such a tremendous accolade from Google this year. I strongly believe that Addison will continue to be a leader in the digital business arena for years to come.”
Mayor Todd Meier echoes Campos’ sentiment in a recent press release, enumerating Addison’s recent accomplishments in its online business community including the Addison TreeHouse.
“Addison is very proud of our technically savvy business community,” Meier states. “As a city, we take great pride in being a progressive community who helps promote our businesses through a variety of digital formats including blogs, newsletters, social media and eblasts — and we will launch a robust new city website in January 2015. We have a new business incubator, the Addison TreeHouse, which showcases the very best of North Texas tech-entrepreneurs and we work closely with them to help them grow and prosper. From start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, Addison businesses are excellent examples of how business is using innovation and technology to remain at the forefront of success.”
The award demonstrates that Addison is taking its place among cities much larger than itself in the digital economy; cities such as Madison, Charleston, Annapolis and Ann Arbor.
With the vast majority of Internet users searching for products and services online, businesses are finding that they need to be online, too. Companies with an online presence grow twice as fast and are twice as likely to create jobs than businesses that are not online. That is significant. Let’s be honest, it is incredibly frustrating to search for a company online, only to find out that they do not have a website. Offline businesses are literally betting money that their customers will not care and they might be surprised to learn how often they lose that particular bet.
Small businesses in particular have much to gain by being online. With so much competition from bigger and badder companies, something as simple as a company Facebook page can make all the difference in the survival of a small business.
To determine the winners of the Google eCity Award, independent research firm Ipsos and Google conducted a study that looked at the online strength of small businesses across the United States — whether the business had a website, blog, used social networks, mobile-friendly website, and if they sold goods and services on their website. Winners of the eCity award demonstrated not only a strong online small business presence, but a potential for growth as well. By receiving a Google eCity Award, Addison’s business community has exhibited a potential for growth, which means there are great things still to come. Campos mentioned the business incubator Addison TreeHouse, which is generating the next wave of small businesses. No doubt a part of Addison’s growth potential will be realized in that arena.
“Addison serves as a prime example of how innovation and growth in e-commerce can successfully contribute to bolstering economic progress and competitiveness,” Emma Ogiemwanye, a representative from Google, says in a recent press release. “Google is proud to recognize Addison’s accomplishment and the role it plays in creating Texas jobs.”
Addison’s small business community has done well and, as the eCity Award indicates, will continue to do well in the coming years.