Joplin, MO (SNS) – The Small Business & Technology Development Center at Missouri Southern State University is working to get area small businesses on the map … the Google map, that is.

A series of “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” workshops will offer tips for businesses to successfully take advantage of the online search engine’s listings.

“Ninety-seven percent of smart phone users use their phones to identify products and services near them,” said Sherry Noller, research associate for the SBTDC. “According to Google, only about 37 percent of small businesses have claimed their online identity.

“This is a basic workshop introduction to help them claim their business listing on Google, and how to make changes – such as adding pictures, a phone number and hours – going forward.”

“Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” is part of Google’s “Get Your Business Online” program, which aims to bring community members, business owners and civic leaders together to help small businesses succeed on the Web. For this project, the SBTDC has also partnered with Chamber of Commerce locations in Joplin, Carl Junction, Carthage, Webb City and Neosho.

Events:

Joplin: 3 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, in Billingsly Student Center’s Connor Ballroom at Missouri Southern.

Carl Junction: 10:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Oct. 5, at the Carl Junction Community Center.

Carthage: 3:30 to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 6, at the Carthage Public Library.

Webb City: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, at the Route 66 Event Center.

Neosho: 8:30 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, at the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce.

Google is promoting the national “Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map” effort by using #OnTheMap. Participants will receive T-shirts and bags customized with brands for their individual cities, said Noller.

To RSVP for one of the local sessions, visit www.mssutraining.com. There is no charge to attend, but space is limited.

-WWW.MSSU.EDU-