The Internet can bring new visitors, residents, workers and entrepreneurs to town. It can give new life to existing businesses by expanding markets. It can put your community on the map and create new connections in and among communities.
When business, government, nonprofits and community residents take advantage of the possibilities the Internet offers, a town can compete or collaborate with anyone, anywhere. Residents can work together to unlock local opportunities, build new skills and markets, and create a more vibrant local economy.
That's why Extension's Center for Community Vitality fosters e-marketing education as part of its community economics programs. By exploring the potential of the Internet, communities make things happen.
On this page
Hands-on workshops in community settings that bring users together to learn – what others are doing online, what does and doesn't work, and how to get started. Each workshop is three hours. To schedule a workshop, please contact a Community Economics educator.
Roadside Advertising in a Digital Age
About 50 million people use GPS units. Even more use online maps on smart phones to find goods or services. These maps get people where they are going, and alert users to buying opportunities. Are you accurately represented on these maps? This workshop helps businesses and communities maximize their presence on the digital map. Learn more
Mobile devices like smart phones and tablets now generate the bulk of Internet traffic. At this workshop, learn strategies that connect with the mobile crowd via mobile websites, apps, QR codes and digital coupons.
Using Social Media in Business
Businesses are using social media to enhance traditional websites. These methods connect with new and hard-to-reach audiences. This workshop helps groups explore social networking, examples of successful use, and benefits to businesses and communities.
Getting high on Google (Marketing your website)
How easy is your business to find on Google Search? This workshop helps groups learn straight-forward ways to get high on a Google search.
Doing Business Online is an educational series available on-line to teach small business owners the basic tools that strengthen their online presence. The pre-recorded introductory webinars can be downloaded at no cost here.
- Mobile eMarketing – the Basics
- Getting Found on Maps
- Facebook for Business
- Using Pinterest for Market Research
- Getting High on Google
- 1/17 Rural coalition lands Tekne Award, recognition for broadband collaboration
Blandin Foundation, November 2, 2012
- 1/17 Kloubachar announces award
Blandin Foundation, March 25, 2010
- 1/17 Rural Minnesota coalition awarded federal broadband stimulus grant - Blandin Foundation
Blandin Foundation, March 25, 2010
- 1/17 Chamber offers first in series of seminars for local businesses, nonprofits
Winona Daily News, January 27, 2011
- 1/17 Project boosts link between businesses and e-commerce
Worthington Daily Globe, February 8, 2011
Print an info sheet (PDF)
Related programs and resources
- Business Retention and Expansion Programs help local leaders build economic development plans based on careful examination of the needs of local businesses.
- Retail Analysis and Development programs use research about the local economy and its customers to create local discussion about retaining and expanding retail businesses.
- Tourism Development Programs use research and education to help communities know and grow their tourism economy, and to maintain quality tourism experiences
- The University of Minnesota Tourism Center
Education, research and consultation helps communities know and grow their tourism economy.
- Southern Rural Development Center
E-commerce resources for entrepreneurs, small business owners, Extension educators, community development professionals, and group leaders.
- Blandin on Broadband
News and information on broadband use, policy and trends from the Blandin Foundation
- Online Strategies for Direct Farm Marketers (PDF)
Fact sheet on marketing local food