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Small firms get online push

Europe to help nudge small businesses online

Only one in five small firms in Europe are making transactions online, but twice that number are online. In an attempt to boost this number the European Commission today launched an initiative called, imaginatively, GoDigital.

On average 42 percent of European small and medium-sized firms have internet access, and only 20 percent use the web for commercial transactions, according to the EC.

GoDigital will help direct small businesses to sources of support, both on the national and European level, to help them get online, said EC spokesman Per Haugaard.

"[Small businesses] are of crucial importance," said Haugaard. "Almost 95 percent of European businesses are small or medium-sized. They are the backbone of the European economy, and they are the supply network of large companies, all of which are starting very rapidly to go online. If [smaller firms] are offline, they are dead."

Haugaard could offer no details of how much funding is being made available for GoDigital.


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