£1m scheme to help smaller businesses get faster and affordable broadband

Minister Ed VaizeyMinister Ed Vaizey
Minister Ed Vaizey
SMALL businesses in York are being given an opportunity to transform the way they work, thanks to a £1m scheme to connect them to high speed broadband.

From tomorrow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the city can apply for a connection voucher worth up to £3,000 from one of over 200 registered suppliers.

Those behind the scheme, funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, says benefits include a more reliable service, better communications and chances to develop new online businesses.

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Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “We are witnessing a transformation of broadband in the UK which will be instrumental in driving our economic growth.

“These vouchers will save businesses in York thousands of pounds, as well as generating thousands more, and I strongly urge businesses to make the most of this offer to ensure they are properly equipped to compete in today’s digital age.”

York, along with Bradford has been designated as two of the 22 SuperConnected Cities in the UK.

Launching the scheme, council leader James Alexander said: “We are working to make sure that York has the right environment for our businesses to thrive and grow.

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“Many businesses need faster but affordable broadband. This voucher scheme together with other digital projects, including a city centre wi-fi project, will help York businesses to be competitive and to continue to prosper”.

The first applicant for the scheme will be Field & Fawcett, a wine merchants and delicatessen based at Grimston Bar.

Owner Peter Fawcett said: “We are looking forward to upgrading our internet service to a business class service.

“We have been made aware of the advantages in upgrading to an ultra-fast connection and we are excited about the transformation this will bring to our business. The voucher scheme is a great initiative helping businesses like ourselves take the initial steps in future proofing our business”.

Details can be found on www.yorkmeansbusiness/digital-york.

Businesses have to pay VAT and monthly subscription costs.