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How Google is helping Canadians unlock the prosperity of the open web

How Google is helping Canadians unlock the prosperity of the open web

Businesses across Canada are using the web to learn, build, connect, and grow. And Google is helping. The opportunities available to businesses today are endless thanks to digital tools, like Google Search and Maps. With the web, location and size is no longer a barrier to building a global business.

According to an Economic Impact Report produced by Deloitte, last year Google’s search and advertising tools helped create over $10.4 billion in economic activity for Canadian businesses, entrepreneurs, non-profits, developers, and creators. Thanks to the open web and the accessibility of our tools, Canadian businesses are reaching new heights, fueling growth, creating jobs and giving back to their communities.

Behind these numbers, are the amazing stories of Canadians unlocking the vast potential of the Internet. And I want to share just a few examples.

Peace by Chocolate 
Antigonish, Nova Scotia 
35 employees 

After more than three decades working as a chocolatier in Damascus, Syria, Isam Hadhad’s chocolate factory was destroyed, forcing his family to flee their country. In 2016, the Hadhad’s settled in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, where they rebuilt their life and their business, Peace by Chocolate, with help from the web.

The Hadhad’s relied on Google Search to source local suppliers and vendors needed for chocolate production, and turned to Google My Business to drive traffic to their storefront and website. In just two short years since setting foot on Canadian soil, the Hadhad’s have built a brand with international recognition. So much so that 65% of their website traffic comes from consumers outside of Canada. “Our presence on Google has helped us reach audiences across the country and has given us the ability to share our story internationally,” said Tareq Hadhad, CEO at Peace by Chocolate.

Peace by Chocolate, Antigonish, NS 

Toronto, Ontario 
24 employees 

Creating a business that helps entrepreneurs like himself was important to Dawson Whitfield, founder of Looka, an online logo company that uses machine learning to create personalized, affordable logos for small businesses and entrepreneurs around the world.

Two years after founding the business, Looka has served over 2.5 million entrepreneurs and startups, a milestone the team says wouldn’t be possible without the web. The company uses TensorFlow, Google’s open-source machine learning framework, to refine their logo maker, and Google Ads to reach a hyper-niche audience at the exact moment their product is needed. Today, Google Ads drives almost half of Looka’s overall website traffic. “Looka is in 188 countries, and Google Search Ads has been a huge part of that,” says Whitfield.

Looka, Toronto, ON 

Vancouver, British Columbia 
43 employees

The web creates opportunities for every individual, and Paul Melhus and Dave Vincent are proof of that. “Most of our friends and family thought starting an e-commerce company in our 50s was crazy,” says co-founder Paul Melhus. “We thought it would be a challenge.”

ToursByLocals pairs travellers looking for unique, flexible experiences with local tour guides all over the world. The idea was born 12 years ago after Melhus and Vincent found themselves struggling to find a suitable tour option during a trip to the Great Wall of China. Today, ToursByLocals has served almost one million travellers in 153 countries and counting. The ToursByLocals used Google Analytics to inform their online strategy and today Google Ads makes up the majority of their marketing efforts. “We struggled at first - until we embraced Google Ads,” Melhus adds. “Almost immediately, our sales started to grow and they’ve continued ever since.”

ToursByLocals, Vancouver, BC 

These are just a few inspiring examples of the way Canadian businesses, large and small, use the web to reach new heights. Check out more stories of how businesses and nonprofits are leveraging the open web and Google tools to grow and compete globally.

Posted by Sabrina Geremia, Managing Director, Google Canada