Boost for businesses with Chancellor visit to West Midlands to launch new tech support scheme

  • Chancellor Rishi Sunak held a virtual roundtable with small business owners to launch the Help to Grow: Digital platform for SMEs

  • Scheme provides smaller businesses with discounts of up to £5,000 on approved software and dedicated website with free advice and support

  • The Chancellor also visited Stoke to see how £20 million government investment is funding a regeneration project in the city and surrounding towns

Rishi Sunak hosted the call with over 30 businesses from across the UK at CineBowl in Uttoxeter to mark the launch of the scheme, where he spoke to people on a big screen about their experiences before taking part in a Q&A session.

The scheme includes a dedicated website providing free advice and support and software vouchers to boost productivity and help businesses grow.

Participants included an accountancy firm, a catering and cookery school, a hair and beauty salon and a web designer and posed questions covering a range of topics from how the scheme will be delivered to the digital economy. They joined from across the UK including Edinburgh, Bristol, Bolton, Norwich, Brentford, Peterborough, Brighton, and Yorkshire.

Following his visit, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

Small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of our economy, creating jobs and prosperity across the UK.

When I announced this at Budget I said we wanted to help businesses become more innovative, more competitive and more profitable and I am excited this programme allows them do that.

It’s been fantastic to speak to firms from across the UK and discuss how the scheme will benefit them – adopting new technologies is proven to improve processes and boost productivity.

Whilst in the area, the Chancellor also toured the former Spode pottery factory in Stoke to see how a £20 million investment from the Levelling Up Fund will help transform the historic site into new homes, shops and a community space. This will help spread opportunity, create jobs and boost the local economy.

The funding will also help transform the derelict Crown Pottery works in Longton to make way for new homes and a community space, alongside new apartments in the Grade II listed Tunstall Library, creating an attractive place for residents to call home.

Mr Sunak also chatted to local business owners at the Quarter

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