Utah State University Extension’s Rural Online Initiative (ROI) recently announced the official launch of the E-Commerce Accelerator (ECA) program designed to empower small businesses in rural Utah.

This comprehensive six-week program is designed to equip small businesses with the skills and strategies needed to succeed in the online marketplace. The program includes individual consultations, mentoring services, and regular milestone check-ins. Participants will learn about various aspects of establishing an online presence, such as website development, online marketing, search engine optimization, and customer relationship management.

The Utah Legislature has fully funded this service. It is free to selected small businesses in rural Utah.

“When I passed the Agriculture and Rural Small Business Innovation Initiative in the 2023 Utah Legislative Session, I was hoping it would have a positive impact on rural Utah,” said Representative Carl Albrecht of House District 70. “It has done just that, thanks to Utah State University Extension. Rural Utah businesses and agricultural producers now have another tool to help them in growing markets throughout the state, nation, and the world.”

The ECA is part of the broader ROI program, which has been instrumental in driving economic growth and teaching remote work skills across the state. The ECA specifically targets agricultural and rural small businesses, offering a personalized approach to help them thrive in the digital landscape and boost sales through e-commerce.

The ECA program has already demonstrated its effectiveness during the pilot phase, working closely with two businesses to list their products and services online. As the program officially launches, USU Extension aims to expand its impact, assisting more rural companies in navigating the e-commerce landscape and achieving sustainable growth.

“The USU Extension E-Commerce Accelerator program has the potential to be an economic game-changer for small rural businesses, including our ag producers,” said Ken White, vice president of Utah State University Extension. “In the pilot, this program has already proven to help level the playing field and open access to markets previously unavailable to small rural businesses.”

USU Extension invites interested businesses to learn more about the ECA program and explore its opportunities for growth and success in the online marketplace. For more information or to see if the ECA program is right for you, visit the ECA webpage.