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Government launches funding for productivity

A new £8 million fund has been unveiled to address the UK’s ‘productivity challenge’ by helping SMEs adopt tried-and-tested technologies and management techniques.

A new £8 million fund has been unveiled to address the UK’s ‘productivity challenge’ by helping SMEs adopt tried-and-tested technologies and management techniques.

The Business Basics Fund will help businesses, charities, trade organisations and the public sector to support small businesses with the so-called ‘productivity puzzle’.

According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), the UK economy is missing out on £100 billion that could be generated if SMEs take advantage of existing technologies and management practices, such as customer relationship management (CRM) software, cloud computing, or leadership and management techniques.

Matthew Fell, Chief Policy Director at the CBI, said:

“Put simply, UK businesses must do more to improve their productivity to get themselves match fit to compete globally in the years ahead. Low uptake of the nuts and bolts technologies of today is a key feature of the productivity puzzle that can, and must, be tackled.

“UK business technology adoption levels are close to the EU average but far behind the front runners, lagging nearly a decade behind the Danes.”

The first grant programme to be supported by the Business Basics Fund is a £2 million call for trials of innovative ways to encourage SMEs to improve productivity.

The Manufacturing Growth Fund, administered by GC Business Growth Hub, offers grants of £3-5k to help SME manufacturers across the North West improve their productivity. For more information, visit www.manufacturingnorthwest.com

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