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Survey Shows Online Sales Generate $17 Billion Annually for South Carolina
Published:
11/29/2013 8:43:54 PM


Columbia, SC - Connect South Carolina has released the results of its 2013 Business Technology Assessment to show how broadband is vital for economic development in the state. The research measures how South Carolina businesses are using technology. The data show that South Carolina businesses use broadband at a rate that is comparable with the national average. Nearly three-fourths of businesses in South Carolina (74%) use broadband, compared to 76% of businesses in the United States, but that leaves an estimated nearly 26,000 businesses in South Carolina that still aren't connected.

Other key findings from the survey and report include:
-More than one-third of businesses in South Carolina (36%) have revenue from online sales and earn $17 billion annually from them.
-Nearly one-half of small businesses in South Carolina (46%, or approximately 40,000 small businesses) rely on broadband to advertise their goods and services to customers around the globe.
-Nearly two-thirds of businesses in South Carolina (66%) say it is important for new employees to have some type of computer or Internet-related skills. Yet an estimated 44,000 South Carolina businesses report have a difficult time finding employees who have the skills to meet their needs.
-When looking for a job it is important to look online. Approximately 33,000 businesses in South Carolina advertise current job positions or accept job applications online.
-Approximately 67,000 businesses in South Carolina interact with customers or provide customer service online.
-Mobile technology is vital to the workplace. More than one in five businesses in South Carolina (21%), the same as the national figure, now use tablet computers and an estimated 36,000 businesses use mobile broadband.

"Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are around the corner and clearly businesses that leverage broadband to market their goods online have an advantage and are contributing a great deal to our state economy," said Heather Jones, Connect South Carolina state program manager. "What this survey reveals is that there is a big job-skills gap to be addressed. We have thousands of employers in the state who claim they have trouble finding qualified workers. Connect South Carolina is working to help communities increase broadband adoption and digital literacy among businesses and residents so that we can do more buying and hiring locally."

Connect South Carolina's survey features data from 800 businesses across the state and oversamples women-owned and minority-owned businesses to gather information on how these businesses are using and benefitting from technology. Earlier this month, Connect South Carolina released a new women-owned business report that looks at the use of technology and its impact in business operations using data from the survey.

According to the report titled, Making an Impact: Technology Use Among Women-Owned Businesses in South Carolina, 82% of women-owned businesses in South Carolina use computers and 70% subscribe to broadband service, but are still less likely than other privately-held businesses to use computers and broadband. However, women-owned businesses are more likely to consider it important to utilize social networking.

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