Ecomomic & Business Development

Economic & Business Development

Digital Ready Businesses

Watch this introduction to online presence strategies

Purdue Extension Community Development’s Digital Ready initiative advances the capacity of small businesses to strengthen their knowledge and application of broadband strategies.

Through interactive workshops and online courses led by a statewide team of Purdue trainers, participants learn about the importance of the digital economy, how to incorporate digital strategies into the work place and build technical knowledge.


Expanding Your Business’s Online Presence

Recent studies highlight the economic benefits of broadband adoption by small businesses. Since most new jobs in Indiana are created by existing businesses with less than 100 employees, establishing and expanding their online presence is critical to remain competitive.

Narrowing the digital divide requires efforts to strengthen digital literacy, enhance the awareness of digital tools and encourage adoption by consumers and workers. Our basic/intermediate level educational products help advance broadband applications by entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Over 95 percent of participants indicated they increased their knowledge of digital strategies through our program. Here’s what happened after a participant applied the strategies from Social Media Plan & Content to their business: “The information was very helpful in how to market on each platform. We have a long way to go but at least now have a plan in place! Since our workshop I started concentrating on Facebook and Instagram with the help of my daughter. She started to post daily even though our content/backdrop was not exactly how we wanted it we have played along tweaking as we go. We grew Facebook from 1547 to 2079 and Instagram 676 to 2013 so far!

View our calendar for a list of scheduled workshops. If you do not see one offered in your county, let us know which workshops you are interested in here and an Extension educator from the county will get back to you about availability of face-to-face workshops. We are in the process of expanding workshops to other counties in Indiana and will begin offering the courses online, in addition to in-person.

Before participating in a workshop, we recommend you view a short Introduction to Online Presence Strategies video and take these two online courses: Internet Basics and Internet Safety.

Workshop Prerequisites

Small Business Workshops

  • Claiming Your Bubble: Map platforms, review sites and more!
  • Planning Your Website: Do you know what a good website takes?
  • Introduction to Email Marketing: Learn how to reach customers’ inboxes
  • Email Marketing Analytics: Evaluate your email reach
  • Social Media Introduction & Platforms: What is it and where is it?
  • Social Media Plan & Content: How do I use it for my business?
  • Social Media Analytics and Marketing: Evaluate your reach and paid marketing
  • Business Intelligence: Adopt artificial intelligence to maximize business value



Name Job Title Email
Bo Beaulieu Director, Purdue Center for Regional Development
Roberto Gallardo Extension Community and Regional Economics Specialist
Lindsey Bloos City of Madison Chamber
Cheryl Casselman Extension Educator, Sullivan County
Emily Del Real Program Coordinator
Mary Foell Extension Educator, LaPorte County
Cheyanne Geideman Marketing & Communications Coordinator
Tanya Hall Regional Extension Educator
Nicholas Held Extension Educator, Spencer County
Bill Horan Extension Educator, Wells County
Dee Kleier Extension Educator, Franklin County
Annette Lawler Extension Educator, Harrison County
Tamara Ogle Regional Extension Educator
George Okantey Extension Educator, Marion County
Jeff Pell Extension Educator, Hendricks County 
Krista Pullen Extension Educator, Cass County
Janet Reed Extension Educator, Lake County
Julie Rigrish Regional Coordinator, Purdue Center for Regional Development
Hans Schmitz Extension Educator, Posey County
Ron Shields Open Book Digital Curriculum, Rush County
Heather Strohm Community Development Regional Educator
Jose Valtierra Extension Educator, Lake County
Crystal Van Pelt Extension Educator, Steuben County
Kristi Whitacre Extension Educator, Vigo County


To learn more about Digital Ready, contact:

Roberto Gallardo

Roberto Gallardo

Community & Regional Economics Specialist

Emily Del Real

Emily Del Real

Program Coordinator