One in five small businesses does not have a website, according to research from the Forum of Private Business (FPB).
The organisation said that the figure, obtained in a poll of more than 5,000 of its members, indicates a lack of technologidcal awareness among SME owners.
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Phil McCabe, spokesperson for the FPB, said that by not having an online presence these firms were missing out on sales and marketing opportunities.
"The internet is now thought to be the first port of call for around 80% of people when looking for a product or service, and having a website carries with it a range of benefits, such as adding legitimacy to your business in the eyes of your customers and clients," he said.
The Forum of Private Business is running a series of free seminars in topics such as web design and search engine optimisation, starting today.