The Government has updated its Help to Grow: Digital scheme to support 760,000 more small businesses with discounted tech support and software.
It has relaxed the scheme’s eligibility criteria for small businesses as well as making more types of software available and including one-to-one support for SMEs.
The Association of Associated Technicians (AAT) led the campaign to change the scheme’s rules. In February, the body sent a letter to the Small Business Minister with three key recommendations which have all been accepted:
- Reduce the eligibility threshold from companies employing five or more staff to those employing one or more
- Expand the range of software available
- Broaden the range of costs that the £5,000 of available funding can cover to include 1-2-1 training and advice
Changes come into effect from today (July 25).
What is Grow With Us: Digital?
Discounts of up to £5,000 are available via Help to Grow: Digital for one-year licenses of authorized digital accounting and customer relations management (CRM) software. Which software a firm needs the most is up to it.
The government is hoping that by providing small businesses with cheap software that helps them grow their operations by helping manage their finances and cultivate client connections.
The government also made eCommerce software accessible to assist small firms in managing their inventory, accepting payments, and gathering information and insight based on consumers’ demands. Businesses may now access up to £5,000 on 30 software solutions for digital accounting, eCommerce, and CRM from 14 technology partners.
Today, applications for advice platforms to join the program will be accepted, and the advice service will go live later this year.
According to Helen Whately, a former exchequer secretary, “This might aid hundreds of enterprises. The potential is enormous, which is why we’re taking it.
Whately said company owners informed her that choosing which technology to use is difficult. According to studies from the Federation of Small Businesses, one in four companies lacks trust in their fundamental digital abilities.
For this reason, the business department has introduced a brand-new online resource that provides assistance and guidance on choosing the best digital solutions to foster development and productivity.
The UK is ranked seventh globally for innovation but only thirty-first for IT adoption.
If we boost our efficiency via technology or better management techniques, there is a £100 billion possibility, according to Ms. Whately.
Some small company owners have questioned why they are receiving no software discount despite having kept up with technology and already employing digital CRM or accounting systems.
Whately said: “You could say, let’s do nothing, but we know that Britain has a productivity gap. The award might be worth £100 billion if we boost our output. We now aim to assist the remaining companies in getting over the hurdle.
How can I become a Help to Grow: Digital participant?
To be eligible for the Financial Discount for Help to Grow: Digital Businesses may now operate in any industry as long as they fulfill all four of the following requirements:
- A UK-based company with a Companies House registration or a society listed on the Financial Conduct Authorities Mutuals Register.
- Employ one (who must not be an owner) to two hundred and forty-nine individuals
- Have been in business for more than a year and were incorporated at least 365 days before the application.
- You must be buying the authorized software for the first time.
What is the value of the Help to Grow: Digital discount?
A financial discount of up to £5,000 (excluding VAT) will be given to eligible firms toward purchasing one authorized software package for customer relationship management, digital accounting software, or eCommerce items.
The financial rebate covers the main costs of certified software products for a full year, except VAT.
Who offers eCommerce software?
Who offers CRM software?
Exactly whose accounting software is it?
According to Martin McTague, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) national chair:
“We are thrilled to have worked closely with BEIS to embrace our request to broaden the Help to Grow: Digital program’s qualifying requirements to assist more small companies in obtaining the software they need.
According to our study, the smallest businesses are the least likely to have embraced digital items, although doing so would increase their productivity the most.
“It’s fantastic to see the Ministers paying attention. This will assist small firms in improving their operations and spur efficiency and development, including e-Commerce software and one-on-one counseling for SMEs on technology adoption.
Alongside the Help to Grow: Management plan, introduced in 2021, is the Help to Grow: Digital program.
Grow: Management provides management and leadership training for corporate executives. Businesses get 50 hours of training spread out over 12 weeks, designed to be doable with full-time employment. With the assistance of seasoned company owners and top industry professionals, the course is given by business schools throughout the UK and is 90% sponsored by the government. At business schools all around the UK, classes have been in sessio