Letters: Digging us out of a recession
[Re: Recession in “full swing” as inflation puts small businesses in “critical” state, Jan 4]
The British Chambers of Commerce research last week highlighted the impact of the current economic climate on the UK’s small businesses. Mastercard’s own research shows that small businesses need more support – not just financially, but with technology, skills and advice.
The Prime Minister used his first speech of 2023 to say that innovation should be at the heart of everything we do as a nation. While small businesses are some of our greatest innovators, both the government and big businesses can do more to support them.
The government has announced that its Help to Grow Digital scheme – which helped businesses with digital skills – will soon end, but big businesses can step up and fill the gap. Mastercard’s Strive UK programme funds support for small businesses to learn digital skills and build their digital capabilities and resiliency – whether it’s a sole trader setting up an online shop or helping a start-up with advertising on social media. So far, we’ve reached more than half a million businesses, 50 per cent of which are owned by women, and 40 per cent are ethnic-minority led.
Just like it did during the pandemic, technology can help the UK’s small businesses weather tough economic conditions, grow and thrive. Programmes and partnerships across the private and third sectors, supported by the government, are essential to help them access it.
President, UK&I at Mastercard