Free business support for firms going digital

BUSINESSES in North Lincolnshire are being offered free consultancy advice worth more than £2,000 to help them take advantage of the latest provision in digital services.

The scheme being run by North Lincolnshire Council is aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and will help them prepare for the introduction of superfast broadband across the region from 2014.

Research shows that 51 per cent of SMEs increase sales through use of the internet use, and there is a clear link between digital development and turnover growth among SMEs.

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But the same study suggests over a third of SMEs do not have a website.

Benefits of companies being online include being accessible 24 hours a day, having wider geographic coverage, increased customer interaction, increased sales, and savings in time and money, the council said.

Eligible businesses will receive 12 hours of input from the Northern Lincolnshire Broadband Business Support team.

A series of free seminars and workshops will also be held in September.

Coun Neil Poole, who is cabinet member for policy and resources, said: “The superfast broadband project in Northern Lincolnshire is well on the way now and it 
is essential that we make
businesses aware of how the internet can make a real difference to their business develop-

“There are so many different things that the internet can be used for.

“The Business Support Programme is the perfect way to tailor support to an individual business. We recognise that all businesses are different and will use the internet in different ways.”