Rishi Sunak unveils masterplan with huge cash boost for businesses to rebuild UK economy

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Firms will be given up to £5,000 off software under the Help to Grow Digital scheme, the Chancellor said. Expert advice will also be offered on a dedicated website to help entrepreneurs improve their digital skills.

Mr 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 the Budget I said we wanted to help businesses become more innovative, more competitive and more profitable and I am excited this programme allows them to do that.

“Help to Grow: Digital will help them to grow and flourish by adopting new technologies that are proven to improve processes and boost productivity, levelling up their digital technology and skills.” 

Firms will be able to buy approved accounting and customer relations management software with discounts of up to £5,000.

It will help them to manage finances more efficiently so they can become more productive and expand operations.

Mike Cherry, National Chair at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “Small businesses are often keen to embrace new technologies, but we know that one in four 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 percent 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.”

The government said the scheme offers “cost-effective” support that will help firms “work better”.

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.”

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