Ninety-seven percent of Americans are looking online for local goods and services using their computers and mobile devices,” says Margo Georgiadis, VP of Americas Sales at Google.

Whilst the accuracy of that statistic is up for debate, given that Internet penetration is thought to be less than 80% in the US, there’s little question that the Web is contributing to economies around the world. As Google reports today, the Internet is also helping to drive business offline too, noting a study by Boston Consulting Group that found that American shoppers spent on average $2,000 buying products in stores, following research carried out online.

“That’s almost $500 billion that went directly to main street retail,” continues Georgiadis. “All in all, it’s clear that the economic impact of the Web is huge; the Internet is where business is done and jobs are created.”

As expected, Google is keen to position itself at the heart of this, and claims that through its search and advertising programs last year, it provided “$80 billion of economic activity” for almost two million advertisers, publishers and non-profit organizations across the USA.

With reference to its campaign to get more businesses online, which was launched last year, Georgiadis adds that the Internet giant is one of the companies responsible for rebuilding the US economy. “It’s a fact that the Internet is creating jobs and helping the American economy grow,” he says. “And we’re proud to be a part of that process.”