What you need to know about the Help to Grow: Digital £5000 digital voucher12/04/2021 | Digital Marketing | 5 minutes
As the UK Government works to help businesses following a tough year, we’ve seen several new initiatives launched. The latest being the Help to Grow: Digital campaign, which was introduced in the Budget 2021 report. Attending a webinar run by local Oxfordshire accountants and tax advisors, The MGroup, we explored the Budget 2021 report and first learnt about the Help to Grow scheme.
While it’s great to see initiatives being launched to support businesses, our feelings about the Help to Grow: Digital campaign are mixed.
What is the Help to Grow: Digital campaign?
The Help to Grow campaign actually has two arms, Help to Grow: Digital and Help to Grow: Business. Organisations could be eligible for one or the other. In this article, we discuss the Help to Grow: Digital campaign. According to the Help to Grow website, the Digital campaign is designed to help small to medium businesses in the UK to “reach new customers and boost profits”.
The way that this is achieved is by offering up to £5,000 off of approved software that helps businesses:
- Build customer relationships and increase sales
- Make the most of selling online
- Manage their accounts and finances digitally.
The conditions are that the business must:
- Employ between 5 and 249 employees
- Be registered at Companies House
- Have been trading for more than 12 months
- Be purchasing the discounted software for the first time.
Help to Grow: Digital Pros
Software that helps build customer relationships, increase sales, facilitate sales, and manage accounts online are valuable for business. A £5,000 voucher to help cover the cost is a generous offer. This voucher could hopefully be used for our favoured software like SEMRush, which we use for SEO, Screaming Frog and Google ADs, which are incredibly valuable to our clients and their digital marketing campaigns.
Help to Grow: Digital Cons
So far, there are no details on what the approved software is. This will not be released until the summer. Therefore, it’s hard to say if the software we’d recommend, or you have your heart set on, will be on the list. The vague details are an initial concern, but what’s most worrying is that this initiative is not available to micro-businesses and not available to startups. Yet, in our experience, it is the start up’s and micro-businesses that would benefit from such a grant.
As an agency that predominantly works with larger established businesses, we can confidently point out that most organisations of that size already have software that helps them reach new customers and boost profits. If they don’t have this software, it’s usually because they work with digital agencies, like Urban Element, that do have digital software available for them already. More importantly digital agencies have the training and expertise to use the software and report back to the busy business owner.
Therefore, the grant is essentially being offered to businesses that would usually already have this software or access to the benefits. If they do, they don’t need the £5000 voucher, and those who don’t yet have the software — typically the microbusinesses and startups — are ineligible…
So What’s the Deal?
Unfortunately, this initiative looks to be heavily weighted towards software for making tax digital, rather than helping businesses operate better online. This is not a bad thing per se, but it does make us wonder who really benefits from this scheme, the Government or the businesses?
While we’re disappointed with the obvious agenda, £5000 is still £5000, and if you’re eligible, it’s still worth taking advantage of. Although most eligible size businesses will already have the software to support their digital marketing, this could be a valuable grant to help streamline taxes and finances digitally, which our accountant, The MGroup, has been helping businesses to do since the 90s.
From here, we encourage everyone to register their interest in the scheme, just in case, and sign up for our newsletter so that we can bring you more details as it’s released, with a deep analysis on what the actual benefits may be for your business.