BT launches package of support for UK SMEs to help with connectivity, cash flow and confidence.

BT has launched what it is calling an “unprecedented” package of support to help 356,000 SMEs in the East Midlands to survive the continued struggles post the initial lockdown along with the potential no-deal Brexit.

The £23 billion telecoms company has invested in the SME Support Scheme to help businesses with “connectivity, cash flow and confidence”.

Part of this included paying its 4,500 SME suppliers promptly, helping firms fund the cost of fast connections, along with free business mentoring, digital skills advice, marketing tools and mental health support.

Sarah Walker, BT director for corporate and public sector, said: “With small businesses accounting for more than 99 per cent of all businesses, 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.”

Measures include:

• Subsidising new ultrafast business connection by up to £2,500 per customer (following on from the Government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, which closed in May)

• Launching 1,000 bursaries for UK tech start-ups for free fibre broadband and mobile bundles.

• Helping small businesses to go cashless with a new digital payments solution

• Prompt payment for BT’s small business suppliers, down from 60 to 30 days

• Offering financial flexibility for the hardest hit. BT is creating a dedicated team to support customers struggling with their bills as a result of the pandemic

• Helping small businesses access the power of digital and social media advertising for their marketing and sales

• Introducing a free mentoring scheme for small businesses and charities

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