The government’s Help to Grow: Digital scheme is nearly tripling in reach, supporting up to 1.2 million UK businesses to adopt the latest digital technology.
As of yesterday (25th July), businesses with between one and 249 employees can now access discounts worth up to £5,000 on approved software.
Previously, only businesses with more than five employees were eligible for the scheme. But now, businesses with at least one employee are eligible to benefit, boosting the number of eligible businesses by 760,000 so that it now reaches up to 1.24 million.
It was also announced this week that eCommerce software is available through the scheme to help businesses ramp up sales of products and services online. This includes helping them to manage their inventory, take payments and gather data and insights on customers’ needs. Businesses that adopt eCommerce software see on average a 7.5% increase in employee sales over 3 years. This means businesses can now access a £5,000 discount on 30 software solutions from 14 leading technology suppliers of eCommerce, 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 has now launched applications for advice platforms to partner with the scheme and the advice service will go live later this year.
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Alan Mak, said, “Extending our Help to Grow: Digital scheme will enable thousands more SMEs to become more innovative, more competitive, and more profitable.
“Helping them adopt new technology to support customers, manage accounts, and sell online will save them time and money. This will boost productivity and help create jobs and prosperity across the UK.”
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 to scale up and grow.
Martin McTague, National Chair, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) added, “We are 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 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.
“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.”
To qualify for the financial discount through Help to Grow: Digital, businesses can be from any business sector, but must meet all four of the following criteria:
be a business based in the United Kingdom registered with Companies House or be a registered society on the Financial Conduct Authorities Mutuals Register
have at least one employee who is not an owner, up to a maximum of 249 employees
have been actively trading for over 12 months, and have an incorporation date of at least 365 days prior to application
be purchasing the approved software for the first time