Scottish Government announces extra £25m for digital fund

Businesses can use the money to buy hardware or software that can be used to increase productivity.

Scottish Government announces extra £25m for digital fund iStock

The Scottish Government has provided £25m for a fund designed to help small businesses improve their digital capabilities.

The DigitalBoost Fund offers grants to small and medium firms of between £2500 and £20,000 and has provided cash to 2200 so far.

Businesses can use the money to buy hardware or software that can be used to increase productivity and the funding announced on Tuesday will allow for access to experts who can help them adopt new technology.

Finance secretary Kate Forbes said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how important digital technologies are for businesses.

“I am delighted that so many businesses have adapted to working with new technology and innovated how they work at great pace.

“This additional £25m investment in the DigitalBoost Fund will support even more businesses to invest in their digital capacity.

“This 100-day Scottish Government commitment reinforces our determination to support businesses to improve their digital skills and technologies to ensure they can help drive forward our economic recovery and support net-zero.”

James Fleming, the managing director of The Power Within Training, received funding in January 2021.

Fleming said: “The support we received through the Business Gateway DigitalBoost programme has been essential for the growth of our business during the pandemic.

“Our operations during this time were significantly impacted because of lockdown, with 97% of our revenue disappearing almost overnight.

“The grant helped us build a new virtual training platform, with an inbuilt CRM system and an e-commerce system.

“This has helped us reach new markets and ensure our training materials are more accessible to a greater range of customers. The funding has accelerated our growth and ensured we have built greater resilience into our business operations.

“We are very excited about the future now that we have improved our digital offering.”

Andrew McRae, the Scotland chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “Over the course of the pandemic we’ve seen many independent and local Scottish firms build their digital capabilities to keep trading.

“But many of these same operators will have depleted their cash reserves during the last 18 months.

“That’s why we’re pleased that ministers have listened to FSB by re-opening their groundbreaking DigitalBoost grant scheme.

“This welcome initiative will help more small but growing Scottish firms build on the innovation forced by the crisis.”

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