We’ve launched a Small Business Support Scheme, introducing a range of new measures to help small business boost their connectivity, cash flow and confidence – key concerns which have been identified by recent research from Small Business Britain and BT Skills For Tomorrow.

We know that:

  • More than half of small businesses surveyed (53%) do not feel confident in their business
  • Although, two thirds (64%) of UK small business believe that the pandemic has increased support and awareness of their sector
  • Over half (51%) are pivoting online to engage with customers more
  • 45% are selling online more and 46% of small businesses expect their use of digital to increase in the future 

* Research carried out in July 2020 in partnership with BT and Small Business Britain

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Small businesses are the beating heart of our economy, high streets and communities. They employ the majority of private sector workers in the UK, so their success is key to securing the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Small businesses deserve the support of each and every one of us to help them thrive into the future.

Philip Jansen CEO, BT Group
  • Funding ultrafast business connections

    BT is helping small businesses fund the cost of an ultrafast business connection (known as an Ethernet line), by subsidising the total cost by up to £2,500 per customer. This extends the benefits of the Government’s popular Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, which closed in May, to provide further financial respite to firms like graphic design agencies and production houses who need Gigabit speeds of up to 10Gbps to send and receive rich media files. 

    Launching bursaries for UK
    start-ups

    BT has launched a new bursary scheme to give 1,000 UK start-ups and entrepreneurs a financial head start. Eligible companies can apply for a bursary to benefit from six months free fibre broadband and mobile bundles. 

    Helping small businesses to go cashless

    BT has partnered with Square to bring a new digital payments solution to help small businesses move to cashless transactions. This is a trend which is accelerating as a result of the pandemic, with 25 per cent of small businesses increasing their use of contactless payments over the past few months.

    Introducing BT Halo for Business

    BT has launched the UK’s only converged fibre broadband, mobile and digital phone line bundle for micro-businesses, which represent 91 per cent of all businesses in the UK. By combining three powerful connections in one package, Halo helps businesses stay better connected inside and outside of the workplace, so that they never miss an important call or a sale. 

  • Prompt payment for BT’s small business suppliers

    With 58 per cent[1] of small businesses citing cash flow as their number one concern, BT has committed to pay its 4,500 small business suppliers within 30 days of being invoiced. This sees BT halving the 60-day terms stipulated by the Government’s Prompt Payment Code.

    [1] Based on Small Business Britain Survey Data from May, 2020

    Financial flexibility for the hardest hit

    BT continues to assist small businesses in financial distress from the effects of the pandemic by helping them find a flexible option for paying their bill. BT has created a dedicated team to support customers who are struggling with aspects of their bill as a result of the pandemic.

  • Helping small businesses access the full power of digital and social media advertising

    With 63 per cent of small businesses wanting more support around marketing and sales, BT is looking to help small firms across the UK to better promote their goods and services online. More details will be revealed in due course.

    Supporting small businesses through mentoring

    BT has introduced a new mentoring scheme for small businesses, to provide them with free access to its expertise across strategy, marketing, sales, and more. BT is supporting businesses via Digital Boost, a free non-profit platform uniting digital experts with leaders of small businesses and  charities. 

    Helping small businesses acquire new digital skills

    BT’s ambition is to reach 1m small business owners and their employees with digital skills by 2025, with 46 per cent expecting to increase their use of digital tools following the pandemic. 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 to reach new customers. 

    Wellbeing support

    BT is acutely aware that it’s an extremely worrying and uncertain time for small businesses, so we will be providing customers with access to expertise around maintaining their wellbeing by boosting their mental and physical health. BT has launched a free online Wellbeing Toolkit for small businesses and have delivered a Wellbeing webinar specifically designed for small businesses.