Retailers have the opportunity to be crowned an ‘e-champion’ thanks to a new competition from Google that aims to promote setting up business websites.

The Best of British Web competition is designed to inspire small retailers to take advantage of the internet’s potential by setting up their own website using Google’s new online guides.

The competition is part of Google’s continued efforts to help small business get online for the first time. Its research recently revealed that 40% of small and medium businesses don’t have a website.

Google UK managing director Matt Brittin said the competition was designed to encourage more businesses that do not yet have a website to set one up for free and expand their potential.

“We want to showcase the best websites and help tech-savvy businesses to inspire those who are not online,” he said. “We’re out to prove that getting online is fast, easy and inexpensive - small businesses which aren’t online are missing out on customers and on growth. Our Getting British Business Online tool is free to use for the first year and our new Google Guides help make it easy for anyone to create a website.”

A panel of experts will judge the entries on web design, usability, content and web standards. Entrants will also be asked to explain how the website has impacted their business, how they promoted the website and the results they have seen since setting it up.

The competition is free to enter and is open to all small retailers that operate in the UK with 50 full-time staff or less. As well as the prestige of being ‘e-champion’, the winner will also receive promotion on Google’s Getting British Business Online website and a selection of Google products.

Closing date for the competition is June 26 and businesses can enter online by providing details of their website at www.gbbo.co.uk.

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