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Larger businesses tend to have stronger perceptions of the benefits of Internet presence than do smaller businesses, according to data from the Survey of Electronic Commerce and Technology.

In 2007, 47% of the large firms surveyed—manufacturing firms with more than 500 employees, or other firms with more than 100 employees—reported that doing business over the Internet had lowered their costs. Twenty-eight percent of small firms—those with fewer than 20 employees—reported such cost savings.

The Internet‘s arrival offered the promise of a global reach. Sixty-one percent of large firms, and 34% of small firms, reported reaching more customers by using Internet technologies. Larger firms may have more resources for developing websites and buying Web advertising, and have brand recognition in their favour.

A growing proportion of firms are turning to the Internet to better co-ordinate with suppliers, partners and customers. In 2007, 36% of firms in the private sector reported seeing this benefit, up from 20% in 2002.