Jan. 5, 2007 -- The cost of hiring a designer or webmaster is the key barrier preventing small businesses from having an online presence, according to a survey conducted by Homestead Technologies for the National Association of Small Business Development Centers.

While 67 percent of ASBC counselors surveyed said having a website is "very important" or "extremely important," 66 percent cited cost as a barrier to website ownership. Other barriers cited by respondents included a lack of technical knowledge, finding and retaining a qualified Web designer, and the hassle associated with maintaining and updating the site.

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