Google bring their Juice Bar to Sefton after getting invite from

Luke Smith from Croud, Gavin Quinn and Angela Baruch from Invest Sefton, Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson and Sefton businessman Paul Litten with Google Juice experts Francesca Loughlin and Shaun Little.  Photo by Ben Patey of One Vision Housing
 
Labour MP Bill Esterson saw for himself the benefits to small businesses in the borough from making their online presence felt when Google experts came to Sefton this week.
 
Sefton Central's MP had invited Google to bring their internet know how to his constituency when he visited their head office in London a few weeks earlier. Google had told Bill about their Juice Bar, which gives advice and support to small businesses.
 
The Google Juice Bar was being piloted in Merseyside, so Bill asked the online-giant to come to Sefton.
 
The online-giant brought along some of its specially trained experts to train Sefton businesses, both big and small, into how to get the best out of the web.
 
Luke Smith, from online marketing company Croud and a former employee of Google, was on hand to share his own expertise.
 
Luke told Bill: "This is the first time Google has run anything like this anywhere in the world, and the first place they wanted to run it was here in Merseyside. In the three months we have been running these online workshops, we have seen more than 1,200 local businesses and we have shared with them the skills to really boost their online presence.
 
"One of the myths with online marketing is that creating an online presence is expensive. It isn't. And the purpose behind these free Juice Bar sessions is to allow businesses to know how to take advantage of the tools which are already available, many of which are free."
 
Bill, who himself was a small business owner before going into Parliament, said the event had opened the door to breaking through online for many small businesses in Sefton.
 
Bill said: "I spoke to lots of small businesses at the event in Sefton who were coming along to see how they can benefit from being online and developing their brand on the web.
 
"What we all discovered is that it doesn't have to cost a fortune to take advantage of online opportunities.
 
"Businesses who are online grow four-times faster than those that aren't. But there is a lot of trepidation for many businesses who are considering venturing onto the web.
 
"As a former small business owner myself, I know from personal experience that online advertising and marketing can be a minefield and it can cost thousands of pounds for very little return if it isn't done correctly.
 
"But the Google Juice Bar sessions helped to demystify online marketing for lots of businesses and introduced them to the many online tools which will hopefully see them thrive online and therefore help the economy and jobs right here in Sefton.
 
"Small businesses in our community need all the help they can get, and I thank Google for piloting the Juice Bar concept here in Merseyside."
 
One Vision Housing Chief Executive Roy Williams hosted the event at their Netherton headquarters.
 
Roy said: "We are fully committed to any initiative that helps to support the local economy. We were delighted to work with Google, who showed that being online savvy is fundamental whether you’re a small local business or one of the biggest organisations in the world."