Google recently released its annual economic impact report wherein it announced its search and advertising tools provided more than 1.5 million businesses, website publishers, and non-profits across the U.S. with $222 billion in economic activity throughout 2016.

Washington’s share of the $222 billion pie came close to totaling $9 billion in Google-assisted economic activity for more than 38,000 Washington businesses and other entities. Moreover, Google provided $19.7 million in free advertising to state non-profits through the Google Ad Grants program.

In an effort to put a face to these statistics, Google chose to break out one business per state (including the District of Columbia) that benefited greatly from Google’s tools. This year, Issaquah-based Combat Flip Flops was featured as Google’s Washington pick.

Online sales for the veteran-operated footwear and apparel company — which provides jobs and education in war-torn countries — make up 80 percent of its overall revenue, totaling nearly $1.5 million in 2016, and up 450 percent from previous years.

Through the use of Google’s advertising program AdWords and Google Analytics, Combat Flip Flops was better able to reach and track its target clientele while Gmail, Google Docs, and Google Drive enabled the garage-based business to operate at a higher level, synonymous with larger companies.

“Google enables us to act as a very nimble team,” said Combat Flip Flops cofounder, Matthew “Griff” Griffin. “Coming from a Special Operations environment, we love that.”

While these conveniences are great for Griffin and his professional network, he insists Google’s tools give his customers an even greater benefit.

“The Internet allows us to go directly to our consumers, the people who understand our product and care about our mission,” said Griffin. “The ability to connect with all of them across any boundary, language, or time zone — that’s the best feature Google has provided us.”

Visit Google online to download the full 2016 economic impact report.

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