UK SMEs urged to apply for £3,000 broadband grants

Under the government’s Broadband Connection voucher scheme, more than 40,000 small and medium businesses across the UK have been connected to superfast broadband.

The government claims the programme has seen a huge surge in demand in recent months, but time is now running out for businesses to take advantage of the initiative.

For the 2015/16 scheme, £40 million was made available and vouchers are being issued on a ‘first come, first served’ based.

Funds have not been ring fenced for individual cities and the government claims more than 1,000 applications are being received each week and so encourages all eligible businesses to apply before the funds become exhausted.

“Our offer to small businesses has been a tremendous success and is proving incredibly popular,” claimed Vaizey. More than 40,000 businesses have already taken up our offer which is aimed at boosting both their broadband speeds as well as their bottom line,” claimed Vaizey.

“Businesses need to act now to ensure they don’t miss out on this fantastic offer and I’m urging all eligible businesses to apply now before it’s too late,” he added.

The programme allows businesses to apply for grants of up to £3,000 each to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband.

The 40,000 businesses which have already had their grants approved cover 50 cities in the UK, helping a large variety of organisations including architects, estate agents, mechanics, events coordinators, cafes, graphic designers and caterers.

The grant takes the form of a voucher and is part of the government’s transformation of the country’s digital landscape, helping cities to create and attract new jobs and investment so the UK becomes the best place in the world to do business.

Small businesses are reportedly seeing growing and accessing new markets through better communication customers and suppliers, increasing security through fast secure back-up of data and increasing productivity and customer service levels as a result of the connection scheme.