Small businesses and broadband access

If you're a small business owner without access to high-speed Internet, you may sometimes feel as though you're operating with one hand tied behind your back. Unfortunately, that's business as usual for countless companies across the country -- especially those in rural and underserved areas -- that still lack access to broadband.

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy, with companies that have fewer than 500 employees providing jobs for more than half of the nation's private workforce. With more and more consumers going online, the Internet provides these companies with unprecedented opportunities to reach millions of new customers worldwide -- a reach that was once limited only to the largest corporations. Now more than ever, policymakers should ensure that small businesses have the tools necessary to succeed in a 21st century economy.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act sets aside $7.2 billion to improve the nation's broadband infrastructure. As we celebrate National Small Business Week, we'd like to invite small business owners to share their opinions on how the stimulus money should be spent through our new Small Business Network. You can sign up and learn more here.

Since we launched the Small Business Network just two weeks ago, nearly 1,000 members have joined the conversation. If you're the owner of a small business, we hope you'll sign up to stay informed on broadband access and other public policy issues that affect you and find out how you can get involved.