The government’s Help to Grow: Digital scheme has just been expanded to businesses with at least one employee. Previously, only businesses with five or more employees were eligible. The scheme provides a 50% discount towards the cost of software.
The extension of the scheme’s eligibility criteria means that some 1.2 million businesses can now benefit. The scheme has also been expanded to include:
- Additional software in the form of eCommerce software that can help businesses sell online and reach new markets; and
- One-to-one advice on how best to adopt digital technology, although this service will not go live until later this year.
The 50% discount is worth up to £5,000 (excluding VAT) on approved software, which is purchased for the first time. Only one software product can qualify for the discount, and only the first 12 months of software costs are covered. The business has to be incorporated and trading for at least 12 months.
The types of software covered are:
- Customer relationship management software that allows a business to store its customer contact and order data all in one secure, central location.
- Digital accounting software that makes essential business finance tasks like raising invoices, expense tracking, and sharing information easier to manage.
- eCommerce software that helps a business sell its products and services online.
On average, using customer relationship management software boosts productivity by 18%, with digital accounting software increasing employee sales by nearly 12% over three years.
There are currently 14 approved technology suppliers listed on the Help to Grow: Digital website, which also provides a considerable amount of guidance. Business owners can learn about the different types of software available, how to identify their business needs, and use step-by-step guides to embrace new ways of working.
More information about the Help to Grow: Digital scheme can be found here.