WASHINGTON – Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, is featured in a new Google promotional video highlighting the company’s “Get Your Business Online” (GYBO) initiative.   

Google’s GYBO initiative gives small businesses free online tools to create their own website and provides training to entrepreneurs about the process.  Last August, Senator Landrieu partnered with Google to host a GYBO event in Acadiana, which drew the participation of 150 local businesses. One of these business owners was Lauri Wallace who developed an online presence, for her Shreveport-based jewelry design company Just Ask Creations, after attending the GYBO event. Last week, Mrs. Wallace met with Sen. Landrieu in her Washington, D.C. office.

In addition to the GYBO events, countless businesses have benefitted from the GYBO Louisiana website. 

“In the past, the success of a Louisiana business could often be determined by its proximity to major roads such as I-10 or I-20.  The Internet has now changed these traditional business models that small businesses once relied on.  Now it is no longer a luxury to have an online presence, it is a necessity,” said Senator Landrieu. “Google’s ‘Get Your Business Online’ initiative is helping these small business owners to create an online presence and compete in an ever growing global market.  That is why I am excited to partner with them in the creation of this video, and I look forward to continuing to work with Google to help bring educational tools and resources to the more than 380,000 small businesses in Louisiana.”

"During the past year, we've launched the Get Your Business Online program in 50 states and most recently in Washington DC. Senator Mary Landrieu has been a strong supporter of helping businesses get online, first in Louisiana, and also spreading the word nationally" said Scott Levitan, Director of Small Business Engagement at Google. "Fifty-eight percent of U.S. small businesses do not have a website. By helping businesses get online and grow, perhaps we can make real difference for those businesses and the economy."

As result of the General Motors plant closure, Mrs. Wallace took advantage of an early retirement package for her position as a Human Resources Manager. Later that year she sent her son to college and decided to turn her jewelry making hobby into a small business. With the help of GYBO, she gained tools to create her own small business website. As a result, she is able to provide her customers with an avenue to preview jewelry designs and prices.

“It has been said that the secret of getting ahead is getting started,” said Senator Landrieu. “Lauri Wallace is a prime example of that, after the GM plant closure, she turned her hobby into a business.  Now, with Google’s help, Lauri is growing that business.”

“Unfortunately, only 36 percent of all small businesses in Louisiana currently have a website.  For my part, I look forward to continuing the partnership with Google to help more businesses get online and get ahead.”  

To date, Google has held GYBO events in all 50 States and Washington, DC; in doing so, they have aided over 20,000 businesses shape an online existence with 200 plus seminars.

Photograph available for publication:

 ·         Senator Mary Landrieu meets with Lauri Wallace, owner of Just Ask Creations based in Shreveport, LA

CREDIT: Jim Simpson, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Click here to see Google GYBO promotional video featuring Sen. Landrieu.