A new, locally developed grant scheme to support the growth and resilience of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has launched this week.
The Digital Technology Grants for Business scheme aims to increase the number of local SMEs making productive use of digital technologies to boost their business - by helping them to invest in digital equipment, systems and support.
Connecting Cambridgeshire has secured just over £1million funding from the European Regional Development Fund and Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority to run the scheme from February 2021 until the end of August 2021.
SMEs in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough with plans or ideas to grow, improve or sustain their business using digital technology can now apply for a grant of between £2,000 and £10,000 to cover up to 80% of their total project costs.
The combined grant and match funding from SMEs to aid improvements in information and communications technology for eligible businesses is expected to inject upwards of £1.4million into the local economy.
Evidence suggests that SMEs with a strong online presence on average grow more than twice as quickly as those with minimal or no presence, export twice as much, and create twice as many jobs . In addition, a survey of 1,000 UK-based businesses found digital capabilities helped boost revenues by 4.4% and reduce costs by 4.3%2.
Eligible SMEs will be able to use grants to support the introduction or development of digital technologies to help them adapt their operations and secure opportunities in the current, more challenging trading environments.
The scheme will support a wide range of businesses who want to develop more sustainable business practices, including remote working and more efficient business models using digital technology.
For example, businesses needing better IT systems or equipment to support staff to work remotely could use the grant towards this to help their business continue to grow or diversify. Businesses looking to develop their on-line presence can submit projects that include consultancy services, equipment and training to develop their skills.
Find Out How to Apply for a Grant
Businesses in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough could receive tangible support through our new Peer Network Programme, delivered by Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority Growth Hub.
From Finance and HR to Sales and Marketing, expert facilitators will help Business Leaders develop trusted support networks to strengthen their business and fulfil their overall growth targets.
In virtual sessions, cohorts of approximately 10 like-minded Business Leaders will share and discuss the challenges and opportunities their businesses face and collectively support each other to rebound and regrow in the wake of Covid-19.
Successful Applicants would be expected to commit to a programme of interactive sessions over 18 hours facilitated by experienced Business Coaches who will also provide dedicated 1-2-1 support too.
This programme would be funded through the national recovery effort launched by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Register your Interest