Google offers several tools and services that small businesses can use to manage and enhance their online presence. Local businesses can learn how to get the most out of Google at "Google ABCs for Business," a free hands-on seminar June 21 at White Hall City Hall.

Google offers several tools and services that small businesses can use to manage and enhance their online presence. Local businesses can learn how to get the most out of Google at “Google ABCs for Business,” a free hands-on seminar June 21 at White Hall City Hall.

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at the University of Arkansas at Monticello is offering the training at no charge, thanks to special funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Google tools such as Analytics, Alerts and Places are free but powerful resources. Businesses will learn how to track website visits, research and utilize keywords, monitor their brands online and claim their free local business listings. Advance registration is required. To register, call (870) 460-1910 or email grimesl@uamont.edu. Online registration is available at asbtdc.ualr.edu/training/monticello.asp.

Local businesses can also take advantage of free QuickBooks training in June. On June 26 at Southeastern Arkansas College Workforce Development Center in Pine Bluff, ASBTDC will offer introductory, intermediate and advanced classes back to back. Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor Betty Ann Beckham will lead the sessions. Space is limited, and advanced registration is required.

The Google and QuickBooks seminars are among 20 free hands-on small business training programs ASBTDC is hosting in Arkansas and Jefferson counties this year. The training is intended to help local entrepreneurs learn important computer skills that can benefit their businesses. The next free program in Jefferson County is “First Steps to Video Marketing” Aug. 16 at Southeastern Arkansas College Workforce Development Center in Pine Bluff. Contact the UAM office to register or get more information.

In addition to training, ASBTDC also provides free, one-on-one consulting services and cutting-edge market research. Help available includes advice on operating challenges existing businesses face, such as maximizing profits and cash flow or attracting new customers. The center can review business plans and assist with loan proposals for businesses pursuing financing.

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center program is a partnership of the SBA and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock College of Business and other institutions of higher education. ASBTDC assists start-ups, existing businesses, expanding businesses and technology businesses. The center at UAM serves nine counties in southeast Arkansas. Call (870) 460-1910 to learn more.