City named California's 'digital capital'

Google has named the City of Carlsbad as the "digital capital" of California, singling it out for having the "strongest online business community" in the state.

A Google representative presented Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall with an award, designating the city as one of the 50 inaugural eCities of America at the State of the City Luncheon presented by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Aug. 23 at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive.

The Google eCity Awards honor "the strongest online business community in each state."

"Our eCity Awards recognize the new digital capitals of America," said Scott Levitan, Google's director of small business engagement. "We're proud to recognize this growing entrepreneurial spirit, and the role that it plays in both creating jobs and sustaining local economies. With 97 percent of Internet users looking for products and services online, it's clear that success is about being connected."

"We are honored to be recognized as an eCity by Google," said City of Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall. "It just goes to show that medium sized cities like Carlsbad can lead the way in innovation and technology just like more well known award recipients like New York, Atlanta and Austin. We have created a climate in Carlsbad that embraces technology, creates jobs and helps foster a strong economy."

Google worked with an independent research firm, IPSOS, to analyze the online strength of local small businesses in cities in all 50 states and determine the leading cities in the digital economy. To determine the winners, IPSOS looked at a variety of factors, including the likelihood of small businesses to have a website, their use of a blog, promotion on a social network, selling goods directly from their webpages and whether they had a mobile-friendly website. The winning cities exhibited strong engagement and potential for growth within the digital economy.

"This award is testament to the entrepreneurial spirit of our small and mid-sized businesses," said Ted Owen, president and CEO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. "Here at the Chamber we know first-hand that our members are among the first to embrace new technologies, but this award is a very nice surprise, considering the vastness of our state and its reputation as a leader in technology."