More than 40,000 small and medium businesses (SMEs) across the UK have now benefitted from the Government’s Broadband Connection voucher scheme, latest figures published today show. The scheme, which helps SMEs get connected to superfast broadband has seen a huge surge in demand in recent months, but time is running out for businesses to take advantage of the initiative.
The Government made £40m available in 2015/16 for the scheme, and the vouchers are being issued on a “first come, first served” basis. Funds have not been ring fenced for individual cities, and with more than 1000 applications now being received each week, 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. So far, more than 40,000 businesses in the 50 cities across the UK participating in the scheme have had grants approved. The scheme has helped a huge variety of businesses to date, including architects, estate agents, mechanics, events coordinators cafes, graphic designers and caterers.
Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:
“Our offer to small businesses has been a tremendous success and is proving incredibly popular. More than 40,000 UK 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 and I’m urging all eligible businesses to apply now before it’s too late.”
The grant, in the form of a voucher, is part of the government’s transformation of the UK’s digital landscape, helping cities to create and attract new jobs and investment, and making the UK the best place in the world to do business.
Vouchers issued as at 25 August 2015
Scotland – 2087
Wales – 2042
Northern Ireland – 1867
North West – 6344
North East – 1291
Yorks and Humber – 5734
Midlands – 5179
London – 11664
East of England – 1407
South East – 1592
South West – 1734
Benefits small businesses are seeing as a result of a faster connection include:
Growing and accessing new markets through better communication with customers and suppliers
Increasing security through fast secure back-up of data
Increasing productivity and improving 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