SMEs Encouraged To Apply For Broadband Grants

SMEs Are Being Urged To Apply For Broadband Vouchers


Steven Beahan, Partner | +44 (0)114 294 7868

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK are being urged by the government to apply for business broadband grants worth up to £3,000 to help them to connect to better internet.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced earlier this year that it would be making these high-speed technology connectivity vouchers available, as part of its Superconnected Cities scheme.

This initiative aims to allow small businesses to be better positioned to compete in their market thanks to having access to faster broadband, with around 3,000 firms having already signed up for a voucher to connect to this superfast form of technology.

Superconnected Cities is running alongside the government's country-wide broadband rollout project, which aims to deliver better internet to 95 per cent of homes and businesses in the UK by 2017. Currently, more than one million are already connected.

Business minister Matthew Hancock stated: "In today's economy, not being online is simply not an option."

A number of potential benefits of small firms gaining access to a significantly improved internet connection have been highlighted by the government, with these including being able to better secure and back-up data, as well as accessing new markets due to the ability for enhanced communication with both customers and suppliers.

In addition, a superfast fibre optic broadband connection can help SMEs to make better use of cloud-based technology, meaning they can potentially save money on software and hardware, while both productivity and customer service can be improved due to quicker upload and download speeds.

Culture secretary Sajid Javid commented: "We want to make sure that small businesses have the help and support they need to grow and prosper in our digital age. That is why we are providing these grants to help small business meet their challenges.

"I urge all eligible small businesses to apply straight away and help boost their businesses with faster broadband."

The vouchers will be available for firms to apply for until March 2015.

Expert Opinion
As the Government outlined, the internet and access to online services is an absolute must for a huge number of small businesses. Being online allows SMEs to raise their general profile, forge links with suppliers and provide services in an innovative way which meets the needs of their clients.

"We would urge SMEs to take advantage of any of the support offered by Government initiatives which may be suitable to their requirements, with the broadband grants likely to offer a particular benefit to many.

"As well as thinking about the pros however, small businesses should consider potential cons and ensure they have measures in place to ensure they comply with data regulations and other guidance related to operating online. Failing to consider legal issues could have significant consequences."
Steven Beahan, Partner