It's no secret that small businesses play a key role in Google's success as a company and drive the economy as a whole. AdWords, AdSense, Apps – you name it – have all grown because small businesses use them. Because of that, increasing their bottom line is very important to us.In Washington, D.C. and state capitols across the country, we often witness policy debates, legislative initiatives, and regulatory changes that significantly affect the small business constituency – the same constituency that has helped make Google what it is today. But the recent economic downturn has turned entrepreneurship into an uphill battle. So we asked ourselves a simple question: What can we do to help broaden the collective voice of small business both on Capitol Hill and in the states? We want to know about the issues that are important to our small business partners so that we can better invest in their goals and objectives and ultimately, their success.Today we're launching a new initiative called the Small Business Network. It's designed to promote business-friendly policies at the federal and state levels. We plan to tackle a number of important technology policy issues - the first two of which are increasing broadband access and preserving an open Internet. And we also want to have a dialogue with small business owners about other issues that affect their online business.The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, signed into law by President Obama in February, sets aside $7 billion to increase access to high-speed Internet or broadband for the 20 million Americans who live in underserved areas. By expanding broadband access and preserving an open platform, small businesses in America have the ability to reach all consumers at an affordable cost and compete with their counterparts anywhere in the world. We hope that the Small Business Network will encourage lawmakers to grant those funds to the right providers and create broadband access for all small businesses across the country.If you are a small business owner who is interested in learning more this initiative, visit Google's Small Business Network site to find out how you can be a part of it.
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