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Abstract

This paper is part of a series of reports of the activities conducted under a grant from the Fund for Rural America, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Funds for the grant entitled "Enhancing Rural Economies Through Comprehensive Extension, Research & Partnering Approaches Using Multi-County Clusters in Michigan With Application to National Rural Settings" were received by Michigan State University's Department of Agricultural Economics in March, 1998. The major goal of the grant is to increase economic development activity in four clusters of rural counties in Michigan through the utilization of the resources of the Michigan State University Extension Service, Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station, and other resources of Michigan State University. Various local, state, and federal public partners as well as the private sector are co-sponsors of projects in the counties. This paper focuses on E-commerce issues and applications for small businesses and communities providing information on recent developments of E-commerce businesses and approaches to successes in Internet marketing. Details of the paper rely on materials used for E-commerce training programs co-sponsored by the project, responses from businesses participated in the training and review of available digital economic and business literature that highlights key elements and benefits of E-commerce to small businesses.

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