Help to Grow: Digital scheme could benefit 1.2 million UK businesses

The Help to Grow: Digital software scheme eligibility has been expanded to businesses with at least one employee, meaning 1.2 million businesses could benefit.

A flagship government scheme, named ‘Help to Grow: Digital,’ has the potential to slash the price of leading software, boost productivity and help to grow UK’s small businesses and encourage digital innovation. However, now the scheme will benefit even more firms starting 25 July 2022.

With Customer Relationship Management software proven to boost firms’ productivity by 18% on average, the Help to Grow: Digital scheme offers businesses discounts worth up to £5,000 on approved software.

Previously, only businesses with more than five employees were eligible for the scheme. From today, businesses with at least one employee are now eligible to benefit. This boosts the number of eligible businesses by 760,000, now reaching up to 1.24 million.

Help to Grow Digital: Expanding aid to smaller businesses

To qualify for the financial discount through Help to Grow: Digital, businesses can be from any business sector, however, 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; and
  • Be purchasing the approved software for the first time.

“Extending our Help to Grow: Digital scheme will enable thousands more SMEs to become more innovative, more competitive, and more profitable,” explained Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Alan Mak.

“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.”

Encouraging the advancement of technological innovations

It has also announced that eCommerce software is available through the scheme to help businesses to increase 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 which adopt eCommerce software see on average a 7.5% increase in employee sales over three years

This means that businesses can now access a £5,000 discount on 30 software solutions from 14 leading technology suppliers for 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 will be launching applications for advice platforms to partner with the scheme from today, and the advice service will go live later this year.

“Boosting productivity isn’t some abstract concept to be sniffed at – for individual SMEs it means bigger sales and breaking into new markets,” commented Business Minister, Lord Callanan. “It can add £100bn to the British economy overall, creating jobs and opportunity across the country.

“Adopting the latest technology is proven to help businesses make the most of their potential, and by making more than one million firms eligible for the scheme, we are helping to level up the UK economy and bolster the ability of our businesses to compete with the best worldwide.”

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