If you own a small or medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) in Cornwall and are looking to streamline the way in which you do business, whether it’s the way you manage client relationships, simplifying your accounts, or making sales easier via an e-commerce website, there is a whole world of digital solutions that could help you take your enterprise to the next level. This can range from new software and digital equipment, to expert consultancy to help you get the most out of your existing infrastructure.
Chances are you already knew this, and it might be that you haven’t pursued any such solutions because all of the above generally comes with an associated cost, one that you can’t always justify within the confines of your budget. If this sounds like you, then we have some good news, because this is precisely the obstacle that the Government’s Superfast 3 – Inclusive Growth Programme is designed to help you overcome. Set up specifically for SMEs in Cornwall, it provides grants and business digital consultancy to help you implement digital solutions and in doing so, help to grow your business.
We at Microcomms, are an approved provider of the programme, helping SMEs to maximise the benefit of grants of up to £5,000, covering equipment, software and infrastructure. That’s right; if your business is facing a problem that’s holding you back, and a digital solution would solve it, you may well be eligible for a grant to help towards the cost.
If your broadband has a slow connection, for example, with a download speed lower than 30Mbps, then a Broadband Grant could cover 100% of the costs of a new installation, leaving you with at least double the internet speed. Broadband Grants cover fibre, wireless, 4G mobile antenna, even the new Starlink solutions.
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If your internet is fine, but your software or equipment is lacking, then you may be eligible for a Business Grant, offering between £1,000 and £5,000 and covering up to 80% of the costs. If you know what you need and can source it from a supplier, simply visit the programme website and download the grant application form to make yours. If, however, you’re unsure as to what equipment or other digital solutions your business needs to overcome the issues you’re facing, this is where we come in. By providing Business Digital Consultancy, we can help you figure out precisely what you need, analysing your business, including any current challenges and future goals and offering support to find the best solution to boost you on your journey.
What can you claim for?
So, precisely what kinds of issues might a Business Grant help you to fix? It could be that you’re looking to build your first website. Provided you’re already trading, this would be eligible. As would the development of an existing website to add e-commerce or other significant functionality. Digital marketing may also be covered (including Pay per Click, Google AdWords and social media advertising), provided this is your business’ first digital campaign, and is part of a wider project to increase web presence that includes website functionality development. You might also be eligible for a grant to cover the cost of digital equipment, in cases where the equipment will lead to improvements and subsequent growth in the business. Broadband and other internet equipment can be eligible for upgrading, and businesses without could be eligible for new equipment, however the Grant does not cover the replacement of existing equipment if deemed serviceable
What doesn’t the grant cover?
Things that aren’t covered include the replacement of existing items, such as laptops, printers and cameras. Nor are ‘business as usual’ costs, say, a digital camera for a photography business. Development of an existing website without upgrading its functionality won’t be covered, nor will mobile phones (apart from in exceptional circumstances), as they should be paid through a monthly contract as a regular business cost. Repeat or ongoing digital marketing campaigns cannot be covered, nor can training costs of any nature.
To find out more about eligibility criteria and how to apply, check out the Superfast 3 – Inclusive Growth website. If you’re having digital issues and they’re hampering your growth, it could just be the boost you need to break down those barriers and push your business forward.
Give us a call today on 03300 020 000 or email us at email@example.com.