Govt expands software scheme to help a million more UK small businesses
A government scheme that slashes the price of software, boosting productivity and growth of the UK’s small businesses, has more than tripled its reach of UK firms from today.
The ‘Help to Grow: Digital scheme’ will now support up to 1.2 million businesses to adopt the latest digital tech and provide firms discounts worth up to £5,000 on approved software.
Previously, only businesses with more than five employees were eligible for the scheme. From today, businesses with at least one employee are now eligible to benefit. This boosts the number of eligible businesses by 760,000 so that it now reaches up to 1.24m.
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair Martin McTague praised the move and said: “This is an extremely welcome move – the Government has rightly listened to FSB’s call to expand digital support to all small employers.
“Until today, the majority of small businesses were arbitrarily excluded from the scheme due to the requirement to employ at least five employees. Many of them want to make productivity gains through technology adoption.
However, they often do not have the resources to do so, especially when they are faced with steep inflation, soaring energy bills, supply chain disruption and a widespread labour shortage under the cost of doing business crisis.”
On top of this, the government announced that the scheme will support one-to-one advice for SMEs on how best they can adopt digital technology.
The government will be launching applications for advice platforms to partner with the scheme, and the advice service will go live later this year.
Business Minister Lord Callanan said: “Boosting productivity isn’t some abstract concept to be sniffed at – for individual SMEs it means bigger sales and breaking into new markets. It can add £100bn to the British economy overall, creating jobs and opportunity across the country.
Adopting the latest technology is proven to help businesses make the most of their potential, and by making more than one million firms eligible for the scheme, we’re helping to level up the UK economy and bolster the ability of our businesses to compete with the best worldwide.”