The government’s Help to Grow: Digital scheme – designed to support smaller businesses in adopting digital technologies so they can grow – has opened for applications today, Thursday 20th January.
Under the scheme, eligible businesses can now receive discounts of up to £5,000 off the retail price of approved Digital Accounting and CRM software from leading technology suppliers. This software will help them to effectively manage their finances and build customer relationships, ultimately levelling up the way businesses are run and helping them to scale up.
From today, businesses can also access practical, specialised support and advice on how to choose the right digital technologies to boost their growth and productivity through a new online platform.
The new Help to Grow Digital scheme sits alongside the Help to Grow Management scheme launched in 2021 as part of wider government efforts to back businesses and level up the economy.
Through Help to Grow: Digital, the government is providing business leaders with the advice and funding they need to embrace digital technology and help their business grow.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: I want UK businesses to be primed and ready to seize all the opportunities on the horizon as we build back better from the pandemic.
Adopting technology means higher performance, and the Help to Grow Digital scheme is future-proofing our small businesses and putting the UK at the forefront of the worldwide digital revolution.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: Small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of our economy, creating jobs and prosperity across the UK.
When I announced this at Budget I said we wanted to help businesses become more innovative, more competitive and more profitable and I am excited this programme allows them do that.
Mike Cherry, National Chair at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: Small businesses are often keen to embrace new technologies, but we know that 1 in 4 lack confidence in their own basic digital skills. For those small firms who are eligible, providing the means to make improvements through projects like this will make a real difference for those that are keen to expand their knowledge and skills.
Our own research has shown that just 40% of small business owners have used applications like cloud services and online data storage or back-up. It’s crucial that practical changes like this scheme are put in place to help small firms adopt digital technologies, making improvements to their own business and driving growth.
We’re encouraging as many eligible small firms to apply and make the most of this new scheme.
Commenting on the launch of the Help to Grow: Digital scheme, Paul Struthers, UK&I Managing Director, Sage said: “Sage has long championed the need for incentives for SMEs to invest in digital technology, and we hope the Help to Grow: Digital scheme will allow many more small businesses to start their digital journey.
“At Sage, we see the benefits of using digital tools daily. Technology can reduce administration burdens, saving SMEs around 1-4 hours of time per week to be more productive. With more than 70% of SMEs keen to further invest in technology as a result of the pandemic, we hope this scheme will be an initial catalyst to deliver performance improvements and fuel economic growth.
“As the scheme rolls out over the next three years, we encourage the government to allow more flexibility in the number of products available, and widen the scope to allow sole-traders and the smallest of businesses to benefit from digitisation too.”
The Help to Grow: Digital scheme is delivered through a new online platform