Cornelius, which is just north of Charlotte and has a population of some 25,000 people, may not be on your list as a top “eCity” in N.C., but Internet giant Google likes what it sees taking place there in use of the Internet.

And on Thursday, Cornelius received Google’s “eCity of North Carolina” award.

Google picked Cornelius based on data provided by research firm IPSOS.

“The eCity Award focuses on smaller businesses, which are the backbone of the economy. I’ve been so impressed with our town’s small business community. Entrepreneurs here are turning to the Internet to start and develop their own businesses and we hope Cornelius becomes an inspiration to other areas in North Carolina and around the country,” said Cornelius Mayor Chuck Travis.

Google presented the award at Waterbean Coffee, whose owner Tony Vo says success is based on “two things: word of mouth and digital tools.”

City winners were selected in all 50 states.

“Our ‘eCity Awards’ recognize the new ‘digital capitals’ of America,” said Lilyn Hester, Google’s Southeast public affairs manager. “We want to celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of Cornelius—and the role that it plays in both creating jobs and sustaining local economies. With 97-percent of Internet-users looking for products and services online, it’s clear that success is about being connected.”

More information about the eCity intiative is available at: