9 September 2015 10:30
Small firms urged to act now on broadband grants
Digital economy minister Ed Vaizey is urging small businesses to apply for £3,000 broadband grants before it's too late.
He says time is now running out for firms that want to take advantage of the Government's Broadband Connection voucher scheme as it is being offered on a first come first served basis. There has been "a huge surge in demand" for the scheme in recent months.
More than 40,000 UK SMEs in 50 cities across the UK, including Exeter and Plymouth, have had grants approved and are now benefitting from superfast broadband.
The Government made £40m available in 2015/16 for the scheme. With more than 1,000 applications being received each week, the Government is encouraging all eligible businesses to apply before the available funds are exhausted.
The scheme allows businesses to apply for grants of up to £3,000 each to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband. The scheme has helped a wide variety of businesses to date, including architects, estate agents, mechanics, cafes, graphic designers and caterers.
Ed Vaizey said:
"Our offer to small businesses has been a tremendous success and is proving incredibly popular. More than 40,000 businesses have already taken up our offer, which is aimed at boosting both their broadband speeds as well as their bottom line. Businesses need to act now to ensure they don't miss out on this fantastic offer."
The grant, in the form of a voucher, is part of the Government's commitment to transforming the UK's digital landscape. Fast broadband speeds are offering small business tangible benefits including:
- Access to new markets through better communication with customers and suppliers;
- Better security through fast secure back-up of data;
- Increased productivity and better customer service through faster upload and download speeds.
Businesses can find out if they are eligible and get more details on the broadband connection voucher scheme at www.connectionvouchers.co.uk.