A £100 million broadband connection voucher scheme announced today (Saturday) to encourage more small businesses to upgrade to a superfast broadband connection recognises the importance of technology to the future success of small firms.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) warns Government must not forget those firms that cannot access fit-for-purpose broadband.
More businesses must exploit the use of superfast broadband to expand their businesses, however the FSB is aware there are still thousands of firms around the UK which struggle to get sufficient broadband to run their business. The FSB wants to see more of a push by Government to achieving universal fit-for-purpose connectivity.
FSB research shows that whilst 90 per cent of small firms use the internet for their business, less than 30 per cent trade online. In a world where increasingly customers turn to the internet for research as well as to buy goods and services, small firms must be online to compete and to fulfil their growth potential.
With the Government’s initiative allowing eligible businesses to apply for grants of up to £3,000 to cover the costs of installing faster and better broadband, it is hoped many small firms will make use of it. Better broadband provision could enable businesses to expand, reaching overseas markets and potentially aiding in job creation.
The FSB believes every small business should be able to take advantage of these opportunities, and while the vouchers will help some small firms, the FSB those outside of the super connected cities could still be missing out unless fit-for-purpose universal broadband is rolled out across the entire UK.
Gordon Millward, Regional Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:
“Many of our members already use the internet for their business, and recognise the value it can bring.
“Today’s announcement on further broadband investment is a step towards helping more of the UK’s small firms better connected. However, the scheme will only help those in the 22 cities, whilst we want action on universal fit-for-purpose broadband to help every single UK firm take advantage of online opportunities and get their products and services in front of customers from Aberystwyth to Abu Dhabi.”