Genesee Community College to Help Genesee County Business Firms Develop Web Sites

A new $100,000 grant will enable Genesee Community College to help local business firms develop their own Web sites, Dean of The BEST Center Jerry Kozlowski announced today.

Genesee will set up an "E-Business Incubator" program that will provide both training and hands-on consulting to businesses needing a greater Web presence. Under the incubator program, business owners and staff will be able to participate in short-term, non-credit workshops in Web commerce, Web site design, Web graphics, promotion through search engines, and other Web-oriented subjects. BEST Center consultants will then work one-to-one or in small groups with business owners to help them create Web sites or upgrade existing sites.

As part of the E-Business Incubator program, the College and the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce will develop an electronic community portal. The portal will contain hyperlinks to local businesses and organizations, and will also serve as the official Web site of the Chamber.

The World Wide Web has become an important - and even critical - advertising and marketing tool for businesses of all types and sizes over the last decade, Dean Kozlowski said. "Every year, an increasing number of goods and services are being promoted and sold online," he said. "Most businesses are finding that a Web presence is valuable to them. Many businesses are finding that a Web presence is necessary."

Despite the importance of the World Wide Web to business, many local business owners are unfamiliar with the mechanics of the Web. "Simply put, some business people don't know where to begin," according to Dean Kozlowski. "We'll take the mystery out of the Web and guide local business people through the process of creating Web sites and making them work profitably."

The grant is from the New York State Economic Development Corporation. The program will begin over the next several months, and will operate under the auspices of The BEST Center, Dean Kozlowski said. Business owners interested in learning more about the program may call 345-6868.