Duncan is one of five centres in Canada to win Google's eTown Award, which celebrates towns where small businesses are investing in online tools and resources.
Google looked at a variety of factors, including the number of Google AdWords advertisers for the population, said Google spokesman Andrew Swartz in an email. In Google AdWords, advertisers can choose words that prompt an ad to pop up when someone does a Google search using the word.
"Duncan showed strong engagement and potential for growth with the digital economy," Swartz said.
Duncan is the urban core for the Cowichan Valley.
Mayor Phil Kent said Tuesday he wasn't surprised by the award.
"I know the business community, which is as good as anywhere, has taken up technology very, very well," he said.
Dr. Craig Reavley of Eye Design Optometry said customers find his business through the Internet, where customers can book appointments and order contact lenses. Google advertising has increased traffic to the business by 35 per cent, he said.
Elizabeth Croft, of the Duncan Chamber of Commerce, said local businesses have years of experience using the Internet to reach out to wider markets.
"We have some businesses off the beaten path that access those national and international markets, so they have to be web savvy."
The other Google eTown award winners are Moncton, N.B., Dorval, Que., Parry Sound, Ont., and Canmore, Alta.
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