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More than 1.2 million businesses with at least one employee can now benefit from the Help to Grow: Digital Scheme after its eligibility was expanded.
Previously, only businesses with more than five employees were eligible for the scheme. From today (26 July), 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 1.24 million.
The government scheme slashes the price of leading software, boosts productivity and growth of the UK’s small businesses.
With customer relationship management software proven to boost firms’ productivity by 18 per cent on average, the Help to Grow: Digital scheme offers businesses discounts worth up to £5,000 on approved software.
The government also announced that e-commerce software is available through the scheme to help businesses ramp up sales of products and services online. This includes helping them manage their inventory, take payments and gather data and insights on customers’ needs. Businesses that adopt e-commerce software see on average a 7.5 per cent increase in employee sales over three years.
This means businesses can now access a £5,000 discount on 30 software solutions from 14 leading technology suppliers for e-commerce, digital accounting and CRM software.
Additionally, the government has announced that Help to Grow: Digital 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 from today (26 July), and the advice service will go live later this year.
The Help to Grow: Digital sits alongside the Help to Grow: Management scheme as the government’s flagship programme to help small and medium-sized businesses scale up and grow. Help to Grow: Management offers business leaders 50 hours of leadership and management training across 12 weeks, with government covering 90 per cent of the costs involved.
The schemes help businesses boost their productivity and grow, which can lead to more high-skill, high-wage jobs. This is part of the government’s commitment to grow the economy to address the cost of living and level up opportunity across the UK, alongside standing behind businesses by cutting fuel duty and raising the Employment Allowance.
Martin McTague, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the federation is very pleased to have worked hard with BEIS to adopt our ask to expand the eligibility criteria of the Help to Grow: Digital scheme to support more small businesses in getting the software they need.
“Our research shows the smallest firms are least likely to have adopted tech products because of the lack of resources although they would make the most productivity gains through adoption,” he said.
“It’s good that Ministers are listening. Together with the addition of e-Commerce software and one-to-one advice for SMEs on technology adoption, this will help small businesses enhance their operations and drive efficiency and growth.”