£400m digital fund should focus on SMEs, says Ovens

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Small businesses should be one of the key focus groups when the government rolls out its £400m Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund launched last week. That’s the message from Do It Digital. “We welcome the announcement of the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund and hope that achieving full fibre penetration will rapidly assist small businesses across the UK in reaching their full potential and, as is becoming increasingly important, enable them to compete even more effectively internationally,” said Michelle Ovens, pictured, director of Do It Digital.

“Throughout our campaign we have spoken about the advantages for small businesses of becoming more digitally engaged, whether that’s for marketing, recruitment, stock management or banking and accounting. We shouldn’t underestimate the benefits that small businesses, which are the backbone of our economy, can derive by having access to the best possible fibre connections.”

Speaking at this year’s Do It Digital launch event in London in January, Matthew Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said: “Digital know-how can help firms save money, increase profits and improve productivity, yet too many firms still do not use websites, trading platforms or social media channels. It is essential we take every opportunity to create the world-leading businesses of tomorrow.”

Earlier this year, Do It Digital secured pledges from a range of corporate and business organisations for practical assistance towards helping one million UK small businesses become more digitally engaged. Those making commitments included HSBC, eBay UK, Google, Nominet, 123Reg, Web.com, The British Library and its national network of Business & IP Centres, Enterprise Nation, The Good Things Foundation and the Federation of Small Businesses.