According to leading market research firm Clutch, e-commerce is growing 23 percent year-over-year, yet 46 percent of American small businesses do not have a website. Building, managing and maintaining a website can be daunting for time-strapped small business owners. Hiring a web developer often comes with a high price tag, and do-it-yourself website options require technical tasks such as building a webpage and a storefront. Once built, a site often requires on-going costs related to its maintenance and upkeep.
But the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has made the cost to small businesses that lack an online presence higher than ever. Helping companies digitize their sales platforms, and training them to compete in the post-COVID economy is of utmost importance to their survival and long-term growth. Through funding from Walton Family Foundation, Winrock International is providing websites, e-commerce platforms, training, and long-term consultation to 150 small businesses located in the northwest Arkansas counties of Benton and Washington.