Small businesses could get up to £5,000 to pay for cloud accounting software under the Help to Grow: Digital scheme, it has been announced.

The initiative – which forms part of the Government’s flagship support programme for small businesses – launched today, 20 January 2022.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is the Help to Grow: Digital scheme?

The latest Government scheme aims to support the smallest businesses in adopting digital technologies to help them grow.

It follows the launch of the Help to Grow: Management scheme – an almost fully-funded course that offers business leaders management and leadership training – last year.

What support is available?

Eligible businesses can receive discounts of up to £5,000 off the retail price of “approved Digital Accounting and Customer Relations Management (CRM) software”. The approved providers include Sage, Intuit Ltd, E-crunch, Zestia Ltd, Zymplify, Livepoint Software Solutions Ltd, Esteiro Business Solutions Ltd, and Deskpro Ltd, with more to be added in the future.

Businesses can access “practical, specialised support and advice” on how to choose the right digital technologies to boost their growth and productivity through a new online platform.

The latest research suggests that businesses that use digital accounting software see, on average, an 11.8 per cent increase in employee sales over three years.

Is my business eligible?

To apply, your small business must meet 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
  • be employing between five and 249 people
  • 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.

“One in four” small businesses lack digital skills

Welcoming the scheme, Mike Cherry, National Chair at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said the scheme will help businesses boost productivity.

“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”, he said.

“Our own research has shown that just 40 per cent of small business owners have used applications like cloud services and online data storage or back-up.

“We’re encouraging as many eligible small firms to apply and make the most of this new scheme.”

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Posted in News.