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Help to Grow scheme loses traction with small businesses

The government's Help to Grow scheme needs a boost of its own after losing traction in small business applications. Only 2,500 smal

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The government’s Help to Grow scheme needs a boost of its own after losing traction in small business applications.

Only 2,500 small businesses have benefited from the scheme so far, with another 800 businesses registered, according to the Chartered Association of Business Schools. It remains behind the government’s target of reaching 30,000 small businesses by 2025.

Help to Grow, launched by Rishi Sunak in August last year to help SMEs learn new skills in financial management and marketing, was initiated to boost productivity. It offers a 90 per cent discount on the £ 7,500 tuition costs of its management course, which includes mentor support and assistance in developing a custom business plan.

In March, it was announced that, as well as approved business schools, volunteers will deliver the one-on-one mentorship to businesses from the end of May, with an outsourced contractor tasked with delivering this part of the program.

Now the government intends to rekindle the interest of small businesses by asking main street banks to promote the scheme’s management and digital courses to their customers.

See also: Helping to Grow: Digital – How Can It Help My Business?

Critics of Help to Grow say it excludes too many businesses. Only businesses with more than five employees qualify to join the £ 520m scheme.

This prompted a letter from the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) calling for change – asking small businesses that have participated in the Small Business Leadership Program and charities to be eligible to participate and more than allow one person per company to participate.

Martin McTague, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, told the Financial Times: “Attempts to increase admissions are welcome. Leaving that requirement to two employees will put the initiatives on a much better footing to make a significant impact among the micro-community businesses on which our recovery will depend. ”

More about Help to Grow:

Most small firms do not qualify for Help to Grow: Management Scheme

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