Small business cool to Net

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Two-thirds of U.S. small-business owners say Internet use has had no effect on their overall success. Of the more than 400 executives interviewed for KeyCorp, a Cleveland-based bank holding company, 67% stated that Internet use has had no effect at all on their business. Of those who did cite its impact, 25% indicated that Internet use has had a minor effect and only 7% said it had a major effect.

When asked what new technologies they believe will have the most impact on their overall success, small-business owners tended to cite computers and specifically laptops ahead of other technology options. More than one-third of respondents (37%) cited cost as the No. 1 obstacle to acquiring new technology. Another 31% indicated that a lack of knowledge about current and emerging technologies, or difficulties in finding the right technology for their business, were the key factors keeping them from upgrading.

The study was conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide in April among a national sample of companies with annual sales from $1 to $3 million. A total of 407 business heads were interviewed.

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