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Students taking businesses on 'information highway'

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It's a class project that could pay off for local businesses—and not cost them a dime.

Under the guidance of Fort High teacher Chris Denby, the grade 11 computer sciences class is creating a directory on the Internet for Fort Frances area businesses.

“We're learning basically how to set it up on the Internet,” noted student Laura McTaggart.

“They'll have their own page,” added classmate Matthew Gushulak, containing any information (within reason) the business wants included.

He noted the business didn't even have to have a computer of its own to be part of the project. And for those who already have an Internet site, Gushulak noted the class would provide links to the Fort Frances business directory.

“It's a good promotion," enthused McTaggart. "Anybody can get on it.”

“Due to the size of the Internet, it's amazing how many people can access it,” agreed Gushulak.

The class started the project last week by obtaining a list of about 300 area businesses from the Rainy River Future Development Corp. here

And so far, they have 30 businesses committed to going on-line with them.

“There's a lot of businesses," admitted McTaggart. "A lot of people you have to contact.”

To help cut down on the leg work, the students are hoping interested businesses will contact Denby at the high school (a message can be left at the office).

Participating businesses will be asked to fill out a one-page questionnaire in order to supply information that will be put on the page.

While McTaggart and Gushulak said the project is a learning experience and “a bit of a challenge,” both were convinced the businesses will be the real winners.

“It could be a possibility for their business to grow,” Gushulak explained, noting someone in North Dakota could be looking for a product that someone in Fort Frances supplied.

“It's free promotion.”

But though there's a lot of work involved, Gushulak assured it wasn't too big a job for the class to tackle.

“Not really, no. We're basically comfortable with what we're doing," he said. "Whatever we do, we'll do a good job.”

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