MOUNTAIN VIEW – Google is kicking off  California Get Your Business Online , a program that offers California small businesses free websites and online training. Google is working with small business groups across the state to help drive economic growth by giving California businesses the tools and resources to establish a website, find new customers, and grow their business.

California Get Your Business Online is an easy and fast way for California businesses to get online. For the next year, participating California  businesses can go to  to get a free website as well as free tools, training and resources to help their business succeed online. Google is partnering with Intuit to provide its popular Intuit Websites offerings for free including an easy-to-build website, a customized domain name and web-hosting for one year.

While 97% of Americans look online for local products and services, just 38% of California small businesses have a website.

In addition to the online forum for small businesses, Google will host several free training seminars across the state to connect small business owners directly with web professionals in person. The seminars will instruct participants how to build a website and how to grow and promote their business online.

The free seminars will be held March 12 and 13 in Los Angeles, March 14 in Irvine, March 15 in Bakersfield, and March 16 in Sacramento.

“There is a perception that getting online is hard, that it’s expensive and time-consuming,” said Scott Levitan, Google’s director of small business engagement. “As a company with roots in California, we want to make it fast, easy and free for any business in the state to get online.”

Along with national partner SCORE, several California business organizations are partnering with Google on the project including the National Federation of Independent Business/California, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, and the Latin Business Association.

“We’re thrilled to support this valuable program for our member companies,” said John Kabateck, Executive Director of the National Federation of Independent Business/California, which represents and serves approximately 20,000 small businesses in California. “Far too many businesses are missing an opportunity to reach customers online and we look forward to providing them with this free service.”

“As a leading provider of small business solutions, we have witnessed the growth small businesses have seen from getting online,” said Megan Bhattacharyya, Product Manager at Intuit. “We are excited to offer Intuit Websites for free to all the wonderful small businesses in California and to help them create a customized presence that represents their unique brands.”