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Charlotte tagged a digital leader for small business economy

When U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis says he wants North Carolina to be "the most wired state in the nation," that's a good thing. He's not talking about pepping up the populace with massive doses of light roast coffee. He's talking about making sure that the business and economic environment is robustly supported with electronic connectivity.

And it appears that the senator may be on his way to seeing his vision made a reality. As of last month, Charlotte became one of 50 cities in the United States named by Internet search service giant Google to receive an eCities Award.

In 2014, the community of Cornelius earned the designation. And in 2013, the first year the awards were announced, the city of Cary was the winner.

Organizers of the eCities Awards say they are issued on the basis of an analysis of how entrepreneurs in a community use the Web to launch businesses and then leverage the resource to reach new customers, maintain relationships with clients and support the local economy.

In recognizing Charlotte, Google credited the city with being solidly aware of its long history, but steadfastly focused on the future. It particularly noted the contributions being made through a collaboration of the Charlotte Research Institute and the University of North Carolina to create an environment that helps gestate technology startups.

The award is perhaps icing on the North Carolina cake when it comes to Google. Many are likely aware that the company is in the process of building a high-speed Internet and TV service network in the city. And part of its plans call for wiring the city with some 3,200 miles of fiber-optic cable to deliver Internet speeds far above what are available now.

Speedy growth is certainly something to strive for. Doing it wisely and with an eye on proper legal compliance is also important, and investing in experienced counsel early can mean great savings later.

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