There are many UK small business grants to apply for right now, including the government’s Help to Grow: Digital scheme, which opened in January 2022. The scheme offers 50% discount, to a maximum of £5,000 towards a range of approved software, which is well worth looking into for helping SMEs boost sales.
The deal runs for three years, with the aim of increasing adoption of digital technologies. Discounts currently cover particular digital accounting and customer relations management (CRM) software, though other products, such as e-Commerce software, are anticipated in due course. Discounts apply to total product price, excluding VAT, and it’s important to check the terms and conditions thoroughly.
Business structure matters: this is an offer for small and medium-sized companies, not sole traders or partnerships. To be eligible, businesses must comply with the following criteria:
- Have a registered office in the UK and be registered at the relevant Companies House
- Have been actively trading for over 12 months prior to date of application, and have an incorporation date of at least 365 days prior to the application date
- Have a total of between 5 and 249 employees
- Be purchasing the approved software for the first time (though the scheme does cover certain clearly defined upgrades).
Application is made online on the Help to Grow website, which also lists eligible software products. Fraud and verification checks form part of the process, and businesses must keep relevant records for at least six years following any purchase. These have to be made available to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy if required. The discount counts towards the total threshold for small amounts of financial assistance or de minimis state aid that a business can receive in a three-year period.
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