Small businesses have been given access to a new £8 million fund to help increase their productivity and performance.
The new Business Basics Fund was unveiled by Small Business Minister Andrew Griffiths during a speech to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), and is part of the Government’s modern Industrial Strategy.
Aimed at helping make the UK one of the best places in the world to do business in, the fund will assist large businesses, charities, trade organisations and public sector organisations to help small businesses adopt tried and tested technologies and management techniques.
The Government’s modern Industrial Strategy and the Business Basics Fund will be run by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in partnership with Innovate UK. Once the projects are launched, the Government will then work with leading experts to evaluate how effective each one is at boosting productivity.
Research by CBI indicates that by getting more businesses to embrace technologies such as cloud accounting, the UK economy could be £100 billion better off and see a 5% drop in income inequality.
Mr Griffiths said: “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, with more than 1,000 new businesses starting up every day, and it is vital that we support them to grow through our modern Industrial Strategy.
“The Business Basics Fund will test new and innovative ways of supporting small businesses to take advantage of technologies and management practices – giving small business leaders the tools and support they need to continue to thrive.”
Matthew Fell, CBI UK Chief Policy Director, added: “Put simply, UK businesses must do more to improve their productivity to get themselves match fit to compete globally in the years ahead.
“Low uptake of the nuts and bolts technologies of today is a key feature of the productivity puzzle that can, and must, be tackled.
“UK business technology adoption levels are close to the EU average but far behind the front runners, lagging nearly a decade behind the Danes.
“The new Industrial Strategy can be the perfect vehicle to get to grips with this missing piece of the jigsaw.”