Budget  

Chancellor to announce Help to Grow scheme for SMEs

Chancellor to announce Help to Grow scheme for SMEs
 Credit: EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER

The Chancellor is expected to announce a ‘Help to Grow’ scheme at tomorrow’s Budget for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The £520m scheme comprises digital advice and management training.

With the ‘Help to Grow: Digital’ component, firms will have access to free online advice on technology to help businesses save time, reduce costs and reach more customers.

Eligible SMEs will also be given vouchers to get up to 50 per cent off the purchase of new productivity-enhancing software, up to £5,000 each.

Subsidised management training from business schools will be available under the ‘Help to Grow: Management’ element.

Business schools across the country will offer 50 hours of tuition with one-to-one support from a business mentor.

According to the Treasury, the scheme could help 130,000 SMEs become more productive and widen access to opportunities for smaller firms to access the tools that larger companies can more easily afford.

The Treasury cited studies showing that improving the performance of SMEs to match competitor countries such as Germany could add up to £100bn to the economy.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our brilliant SMEs are the backbone of our economy, creating jobs and generating prosperity – so it’s vital they can access the tools they need to succeed.

“Help to Grow will ensure they are embracing the latest technology and management training, fuelling our plan for jobs by boosting productivity in all corners of the UK.”

Businesses will be able to register their interest in the Help to Grow scheme online from tomorrow (March 3).

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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