BT launches major new drive to support the 334,000 small businesses in Scotland
31 Jul 2020
BT has announced an unprecedented package of support to help Scotland’s small businesses get better positioned for recovery and growth following the coronavirus outbreak and as they prepare for a post-Brexit future.
The BT Small Business Support Scheme offers a range of new measures to help small businesses boost their connectivity, cashflow and confidence.
The support includes a commitment to pay its 4,500 small business suppliers promptly and within 30 days of being invoiced, to helping firms fund the cost of ultrafast business connections, as well as access to free resources such as business mentoring, digital skills, marketing tools and mental health support.
Alan Lees, Director of BT’s Enterprise business in Scotland (Pictured), said: “With small businesses accounting for more than 99 per cent of all businesses in Scotland, they are the beating heart of our economy, high streets and communities. They deserve the support of each and every one of us to help them thrive into the future.
“At BT, we can use our technology, scale and expertise to help small businesses kick-start recovery and growth by boosting their connectivity, cashflow and confidence. So we’ve listened to the needs of small businesses and are stepping up to deliver a support scheme which should have something for everyone - whether you’re a sole trader, tech-start up, micro business or a larger firm.”
BT’s Small Business Support Scheme comprises:
- Funding ultrafast business connections: BT is helping small businesses fund the cost of an ultrafast business connection (known as Ethernet), by subsidising the total cost by £2,500 per customer.
- Launching bursaries for UK tech start-ups: BT is introducing a new bursary scheme to give 1,000 UK tech start-ups and entrepreneurs a financial head start. Eligible companies can apply for a bursary to benefit from free fibre broadband and mobile bundles.
- Introducing BT Halo for Business: BT has launched the UK’s best converged fibre broadband, mobile and digital phone line bundle for micro-businesses. Halo helps businesses stay better connected inside and outside of the workplace, so that they never miss an important call or a sale.
- Helping small businesses to go cashless: BT is preparing to launch a new digital payments solution, to help small businesses move to cashless transactions.
SUPPORTING CUSTOMER CASHFLOW:
- Accelerating payment for BT’s small business suppliers: BT is committing to pay its 4,500 small business suppliers within 30 days of being invoiced.
- Financial flexibility for the hardest hit: BT has been assisting small businesses in financial distress during the peak of the pandemic by helping them find a flexible option for paying their bill.
- Helping small businesses access the full power of digital and social media advertising: BT is looking to help small firms across the UK to better promote their goods and services online.
- Supporting small businesses through mentoring: BT is introducing a new mentoring scheme for small businesses, to provide them with free access to its expertise across strategy, marketing, sales, and more.
- Helping small businesses acquire new digital skills: BT has already helped tens of thousands of small businesses with digital skills training through its Skills for Tomorrow programme and has released new learning content on crucial topics, including how to prevent cyber-attacks and using social media.
- Wellbeing support: BT will be providing customers with access to expertise around maintaining their wellbeing through free online toolkits and webinar series for small businesses.
BT’s team of store-based consultants are on hand to help small business customers in Glasgow. They are joined by BT Local Business West of Scotland, an independent business who works with BT to deliver a personal, local service to SMEs.