Help to Grow: Digital – Chancellor’s Budget 2021 plans deliver welcome boost for SMEs
There’s been some extremely positive news for the SME sector in the UK Budget 2021, published on 3rd March 2021. Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed a £520 million ‘Help to Grow’ scheme with a focus clearly on helping businesses adopt digital technology.
The ‘Help to Grow: Digital’ scheme will enable eligible businesses get a discount of up to 50% on the costs of approved software, worth up to £5,000. The vouchers are initially expected to be available for software that helps businesses:
- Build customer relationships and increase sales
- Make the most of selling online
- Manage their accounts and finances digitally
The voucher is available to UK business that:
- Employ between 5 and 249 employees and are registered at Companies House
- Have been trading for more than 12 months
- Are purchasing the discounted software for the first time
According to the Chancellor, the scheme could help thousands of SMEs become more productive and widen access to opportunities for smaller firms to access the tools that larger companies can more easily afford.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak: “Our brilliant SMEs are the backbone of our economy, creating jobs and generating prosperity – so it’s vital they can access the tools they need to succeed. “Help to Grow will ensure they are embracing the latest technology and management training, fuelling our plan for jobs by boosting productivity in all corners of the UK.”
The ‘Help to Grow: Digital’ scheme is one aspect of a two-part ‘Help to Grow’ programme that aims to help SMEs across the UK “learn new skills, reach new customers and boost profits”. The ‘Help to Grow: Management’ scheme will enable small businesses to access a 12 week-programme delivered by leading business schools across the UK. The programme will combine a practical curriculum, with 1:1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions and an alumni network.
Matthew Lidster, Managing Director, Codeless Platforms: “This is excellent news from the Treasury and Chancellor. It will provide a vital boost to the economy and will undoubtedly inject some much-needed hope into many businesses, especially SMEs, that have struggled over the past year. Investment in digital technology, such as BPA Platform, will be vital for helping many businesses get back on their feet, helping to increase employment and rebuild the UK economy.”