By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Westborough – Local officials and members of Westborough's business community gathered at the South Street Diner Aug. 14 to celebrate the town being named Google's 2013 eCity of Massachusetts.
The award, acknowledging the town as the “digital capital” of the state, was presented to Town Manager Jim Malloy by Matt Dunne, Google's head of community affairs.
Dunne explained that Google and an independent research firm, ISPOS, analyzed how local small businesses function in cities across all 50 states. Factors such as the likelihood of small businesses to have a website, use a blog, promote themselves on a social network, sell goods directly from their webpages and whether they had a mobile-friendly website were all assessed.
“Research shows that 97 percent of the time when people need to find something they go online,” Dunne said. “Small businesses are making their mark in that area. We want to help more businesses go online and celebrate those companies that have led the charge.”
Malloy said he was pleased but not surprised when he heard the town had won the award.
“It's great and certainly highlights the town's businesses that are utilizing the internet,” he said. “It's also a great sign for other businesses that may want to relocate here, particularly those in high tech.”
U.S Rep. James McGovern, D-2nd, who was also in attendance at the event, noted that he was “proud that Westborough was being honored – it's an incredible community.”
“Westborough is leading the way, and embracing technology,” he said. “Hopefully this will attract other companies to central Mass. and inspire them to go online as well.”
The South Street Diner's owners, Phyllis Keene and Mark Sullivan, provided an assortment of their specialties for the reception. The diner was chosen to host the event, Google officials said in a press release, to honor “its great digital footprint.”
“This is wonderful,” Keene said, as she observed the gathering. “It's a great thing for the town.”