£10m in grant funding offered for Scottish SMEs to boost digital skills
A £10 million fund has been launched to help Scottish businesses upskill and invest in their digital capabilities as they battle the effects of lockdown.
The grant scheme, which is available through Business Gateway’s DigitalBoost national training programme for businesses, is funded by the Scottish Government.
VAT registered firms will be able to access up to £25,000 while non-VAT registered businesses can benefit from up to £5,000 of funding.
The launch follows a successful pilot grant scheme in the autumn.
Finance secretary Kate Forbes said: “The firms that have coped best during the pandemic are invariably those that have been able to adapt with the help of digital tools.
“This funding will provide an immediate boost and will support businesses to adopt digital technologies to improve productivity, increase resilience and drive growth. It will also help to improve their digital capability and the skills of their workforce so they can keep pace with future technological progress.
“Supporting SMEs [small and medium-sized enterprises] on their digital journey is key to Scotland’s economic recovery, our future prosperity and our net-zero ambitions and I encourage business owners to take up this valuable opportunity.”
Liz McCutcheon, chief executive, Lanarkshire Enterprise Services (LESL), said: “LESL are delighted to be administering the DigitalBoost development grant, on behalf of the Scottish Government and Business Gateway’s DigitalBoost programme.
“LESL has long been an advocate of digital adoption and are committed to supporting SMEs across Scotland leverage the grant to allow them to transform their businesses digitally.”
DigitalBoost provides webinars, a free healthcheck, one-to-one support from a digital expert, online tutorials and practical guides on topics including social media, cyber resilience, data analytics, digital marketing strategy and e-commerce.
Cosla spokesman Steven Heddle said: “The last ten months have shown how critical strong and robust online platforms are for businesses, if they are to successfully adapt to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
“Given the ongoing nature of the crisis, this scheme will be a critical lifeline for those businesses that want to digitally upskill and invest in their platforms so that they can survive, increase their resilience to current and future challenges, and find new opportunities and markets to grow.”
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