‘Help to Grow: Digital’ Extended
The Government funded Help to Grow: Digital scheme has been extended this week, to make it much more accessible to the businesses who stand to benefit the most.
We were disappointed in the scheme when it was launched, and in some of the promotions around it. It sounds great, but it wasn’t available for many of our clients.
This has now changed!
From this week, the Government has extended the eligibility criteria so you can access the scheme if you have from one to 249 employees.
If you are a one person Limited Company, you should now be able to access the discounts on digital technology that are available. Directors are deemed to be employees for tax and related purposes, so we would expect this assumption to apply here too.
If you are a sole trader, operating alone, you will still not be eligible.
This reduction in the number of employees required should extend the scheme to an additional 760,000 businesses, to almost 1.25 million small firms.
What else has changed?
The software options included under the scheme has also been expanded.
Previously the software option included CRM and accounting software options, but this has now been extended to include ecommerce options. Recent research has shown that businesses that utilise ecommerce software see an average 7.5% increase in sales in three years, so this may be very helpful.
Are we converted?
We still have concerns that the changes don’t provide as large an opportunity to the smallest businesses as the headlines suggest. Many of the packages available don’t come close to providing £5,000 of support in a year, but we’ll take the view that any support is a good thing!
We’d recommend that if you’re thinking of implementing any of the options available you do your homework and think of your longer term plans before committing. You can (currently) only claim once through the scheme, so make sure you get the most that you can!