Digital readiness boost changing businesses

Michael Ferguson,Minister for Science and Technology

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is the strongest supporter of the business sector, because we know it is the engine room of our economy – employing Tasmanians and supporting local families.

This year has been incredibly challenging for our hardworking Tasmanian businesses, and in 2020, it has been more crucial than ever for businesses to embrace information technology and online platforms to find alternate paths to market state wide, nationally and globally, to raise their profiles and to operate more efficiently.

Each and every year across this term of Government, the Tasmanian Liberal Government allocates $250,000 to support the hugely successful Digital Ready program.

The program ensures small businesses receive innovative, informative and relevant information at absolutely no charge, to help these businesses seize the opportunities presented by an ever changing digital landscape.

There’s little doubt COVID-19 has resulted in significant interest in the program. For example, the number of visits to the program’s website at the onset of the pandemic increased seven-fold, compared to the same period the year before.

We have stood ready to provide additional resourcing to meet this major increase in demand, and this year in the 2020-21 Budget, we’ve boosted the program with an additional $650,000 of funding.

This has allowed for the addition of new resources, including production of an additional 50 how-to guides on the Digital Ready for Business website, as well as doubling the business one-on-one coaching sessions, from one hour to two hours.

These no-cost coaching sessions have proven valuable to assisting businesses receive tailored and targeted assistance and advice on practical measures that businesses can take to improve their digital platforms and go from strength to strength.

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