Tuesday, March 20, 2012
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Frome awarded Google eTown award

Frome has been crowned one of the UK’s eTowns, Google’s first award to recognise the areas where businesses are generating the highest rates of growth through the Internet.

According to the Boston Consulting Group, companies with an online presence grow from four to eight times faster than those companies without. Google, through its online advertising service, can assess the strength of online commercial activity in the UK and the specific areas showing the most potential.

The top 20 Google eTown award winners in the UK are:


% growth over the last year


% growth over the last year

1. Scunthorpe


11. Sidcup


2. Hartlepool


12. Uxbridge


3. Lymington


13. Penrith


4. Lewes


14. Manchester


5. Middlesbrough


15. Hastings


6. Frome


16. East Grinstead


7. Thatcham


17. Douglas


8. St Austell


18. South Croydon


9. Carlisle


19. Dover


10. Havant


20. Durham


To compile this list, Google shortlisted the 700 towns with the highest online economic activity, and then ranked them in terms of the percentage increase in local small and medium sized enterprises using AdWords over the last year. Frome came in 6th, with 32.7% growth in 2010 to 2011, indicating that the town's entrepreneurial online businesses are boosting growth across the area.

Bruno Leonforte started his business, Best Gym Equipment, in Frome in May this year and now sells gym equipment online around the UK. The internet has allowed him to expand his customer base across the country, instead of being purely Somerset-based. Bruno said:

“I started my business in May this year and we are totally online. I now do almost all my marketing online because it is simple and effective. The beauty of services like AdWords is that you can tell exactly how many customers are clicking through to your site. We are doing really well online and around 60% of my customers come from online advertising. It’s been a great factor in my success.”

Dan Cobley, MD of Google UK, said:

has much to be proud of, with local business owners turning to online opportunities to drive growth and boost their bottom lines. Frome showed an almost 23% growth in the number of businesses advertising online, putting it at the top in the UK for online business activity. The Internet is contributing massively towards the overall UK economy, and we want to encourage and help more small businesses to get online and succeed online."

David Heath, MP of Frome said:

“Frome never ceases to surprise, and one of its secrets is just how well it’s doing as an on-line business centre. I think we can be proud of the Google e-Town award and I am delighted that our local area has such a growing online spirit. The Internet is playing a key role in Frome's economic growth, helping local businesses and entrepreneurs thrive, and contributing overall to the wider British economy. I hope this award encourages other local businesses to get online and grow online.”

In recognition of Frome's eTown status and to encourage other small and medium sized enterprises to join the growing success of online commerce, Google is offering businesses the ability to receive free telephone support to create their first online advertising campaign and £50 worth of free credit. Interested businesses should visit www.gbbo.co.uk/etowns for more information.

David in Parliament

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  • Points of Order (15 Mar 2012)
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  • Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government: Localism Act 2011 (12 Mar 2012)
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Published and promoted by Mike Bell on behalf of David Heath (Liberal Democrats) both at Church Hill House, 17 Bath Street, Frome, BA11 1DN.
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