The city of Valparaiso has been named by Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG) as the Indiana winner of its eCity Award. The award recognizes the strongest online business community in each state.
The city’s economic development director says the award is a validation of the what the city has been trying to do over the last several years in terms of economic development. Patrick Lyp says the award came at the perfect time as the city will soon seek bids on its high-speed Internet fiber project.
"We’ve gone out looking to do our own city-wide fiber loop, focusing primarily on businesses first and then depending upon how the project moves forward, possibly looking to more residential use," says Lyp. "Hopefully that type of project with the publicity of the award will just further help my efforts as I meet with businesses locally as well as regionally and nationally to show that our location near Chicago is a perfect fit for their businesses."
Lyp says one of the main benefits of the fiber loop is redundancy for businesses in case there is a loss in Internet connection. He says it will also lead to cost savings in the long run.
Google says the businesses in each eCity are using the web to find new customers, connect with existing customers and fuel their local economies. Google and an independent research firm selected one city from each state to be a Google eCity after analyzing the online strength of local small businesses nationwide.
"Being named Indiana’s eCity reflects Valparaiso’s innovation and dedication to being technologically savvy. We’re particularly excited about this award, because it further demonstrates that our local businesses are succeeding," said Mayor Jon Costas. "In Valparaiso we recognize that successful businesses mean a successful community. Because of that, we all work to support businesses by creating a downtown that stimulates commerce and pursuing a fiber optic network to keep our local businesses at the forefront of technology."
Valparaiso joins cities such as Denver, Beverly Hills, Atlanta and Austin in the eCities listing.
Valparaiso Economic Development Director Patrick Lyp says the award came at the perfect time as the city works on its high-speed Internet fiber project.