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The UK government’s Help to Grow: Digital scheme launches today (Thursday, January 20) to support small businesses with discounted software and free advice.

As part of the new scheme, eligible businesses can receive discounts of up to £5,000 off the retail price of approved Digital Accounting and CRM software from leading technology suppliers. The discounted software is intended to help retailers effectively manage their finances and build customer relationships.

The launch of this scheme coincides with Making Tax Digital (MTD) which states that all VAT registered businesses, regardless of turnover, must file their returns online from April 1. More information on MTD can be found here.

To be eligible for the Help to Grow: Digital scheme, you must meet all the following criteria:

  • Your business must have a registered office in the UK (England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland) and be registered at the relevant Companies House or be a registered society listed on the Financial Conduct Authority’s Mutuals Register.
  • Your business must have been actively trading for over 12 months prior to the date of application and have an incorporation date of, at minimum, 365 days prior to the date of application.
  • Your business must have a total of between 5 and 249 employees.
  • Your business must be purchasing the approved software for the first time.

Eligible businesses will only receive one discount towards the purchase of one approved software product up to a maximum of £5,000 (not including VAT).

The financial discount covers 12 months’ worth of approved software product core costs, exclusive of VAT.

A new online platform has also been launched to aid retailers in going digital by providing practical, specialised support and advice on how to choose the right digital technologies to boost growth and productivity. You can access the platform via this link.

When first visiting the platform, you will be asked a few short questions and then be directed to information that has been tailored to your business. You’ll then be able to access guides on how to identify the best digital software to achieve your business goals. You can hear from other businesses that have successfully transformed their operations using the same digital software.

On the launch of the Help to Grow: Digital scheme, business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “I want UK businesses to be primed and ready to seize all the opportunities on the horizon as we build back better from the pandemic.

“Adopting technology means higher performance, and the Help to Grow: Digital scheme is future-proofing our small businesses and putting the UK at the forefront of the worldwide digital revolution.”

The scheme is open for three years from December 2021 onwards. Further information on changes to the scheme will be published on GOV.UK.

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