Government support to help small businesses connect with online opportunities

Research shows that more than half of the public (55%) find it difficult to support local small firms because often these businesses aren’t online. In fact, figures show that as many as 2 million (39%) sole traders and small companies are missing out on business because they have no online presence. In addition, over half of customers (52%) go straight to search engines when looking to buy from local businesses, nearly double the number that ask for word-of-mouth recommendations. With total website sales in the UK worth £164 billion, small businesses and sole traders could be missing out without a digital presence. Last year saw 115 million visits to retail websites by UK Internet users, so now the Government is helping micro businesses and sole traders to increase their digital skills. Measures to help businesses become more digitally active include:

  • £2 million of funding to 22 Local Enterprise Partnerships to help small local businesses increase their digital presence. Projects include the development of a digital TV channel in Manchester which provides easily-accessible and cost-effective advice to businesses, supported by events, advice and networking sessions.
  • Launching a campaign to bring small business owners to the new resources and advice on how to do more with their business online at greatbusiness.gov.uk/domoreonline or by calling the business support helpline on 0300 456 3565
  • Government working in partnership with Go ON UK to provide resources chosen specifically for small businesses on their new web page digitalskills.com/business

Business and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Thousands of potential customers are searching online for local small businesses and without an online profile businesses will lose out.” “To make sure consumers get the best deal and small businesses spread their nets far and wide, the Government is investing in expert advice to help them do more online. I am committed to making the UK the best place in the world to start up and grow, and this is integral to achieving that”. The new research, based on a sample of 2,191 people, showed that consumers are looking to the Internet more than ever to find small local businesses and sole traders.

This entry was posted by Victoria on Fri, 09/01/2015 - 05:00
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