Parry Sound is one of five Canadian towns to win a Google eTown Award.
Google Canada managing director Chris O'Neill, left, and Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement.
Announced Tuesday, the Google award is designed to recognize those towns where small businesses are investing in online tools and resources to find new customers, grow their business and improve their operations.
“We're delighted to recognize Parry Sound’s accomplishments in embracing the web across their small business community," said Chris O'Neill, managing director of Google Canada, "We know that the Internet is going to contribute massively to Canada’s economic growth, so these eTown awards are designed to showcase those communities leading the way forward.”
To highlight this vital economic activity, Google looked at thousands of cities and towns across Canada to identify one town in each of five regions that demonstrated strong engagement and potential for growth in the digital economy. With its online advertising service, Google AdWords, the Canada Get Your Business Online initiative, and products such as Google Apps for Business, Google works with businesses across Canada to help them succeed online.
Sunny Point Resort in Parry Sound is a family-owned resort that has been in operation since 1966. Current owners Andy and Susan Vitch have been using AdWords since 2009.
“Tourism is one business where the Internet can be the most beneficial to a small guy like me,” said Andy. “I can compete with the bigger resorts. Our site may not be as flashy, but it’s out there. You just have to get people to your site, which is why AdWords is so useful to our business.”
Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board and MP for Parry Sound–Muskoka, was presented with the award in Ottawa last week.
"I am very proud to receive this award on behalf of Parry Sound, a community that has gone out of its way to embrace the digital economy,” said Clement. “The internet is a powerful tool for businesses and communities looking for new and innovative ways to connect and provide services and Parry Sound is a great example of what can be accomplished."
In recognition of Parry Sound’s eTown status, Google Canada, in cooperation with the Parry Sound Area Chamber of Commerce, will present the award to the town and Parry Sound Mayor Jamie McGarvey on October 5.
McGarvey said he was thrilled with the recognition.
“I think that this is very wonderful for Parry Sound and we’re certainly waiting to see all the information that Google is going to provide with how the award was calculated,” said McGarvey Tuesday morning. “I think it’s absolutely wonderful."