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Transforming businesses with Go Digital funding and business support

Norfolk County Council, 2 February 2022 00:00

Funding and free expert advice for micro, small and medium-sized businesses is set to continue in 2022, thanks to Norfolk County Council's Go Digital grant scheme.

Since its launch in December 2020, the initiative has already supported over 400 businesses, with many claiming grants of up to £500 and receiving expert one-to-one consultancy to help make better use of digital technology.

Cllr Graham Plant, Norfolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Growing the Economy, said: "Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, many businesses had to adapt to a virtual world in order to continue operations and to improve their place in the market. Some smaller businesses found it difficult in this 'new world', due to barriers involving expertise, resources and upfront costs, but Go Digital helped them to adapt.

"The Go Digital support scheme is an ideal opportunity for businesses to improve their business model by exploring new technology, whether that be the use of more digital devices, ecommerce, improving an online presence or increasing awareness through the power of social media. To take advantage of this, I encourage business owners and managers to apply as soon as possible."
Businesses can find out more and apply on the Norfolk County Council website at

Research undertaken by Norfolk County Council prior to the Covid-19 pandemic found that one of the biggest barriers to the adoption of digital technology was culture change and the fear of the unknown. But the results of embracing technology were shown to be significant, with one Norfolk business noting a 30% increase in efficiency as well as happier staff due to having to do fewer menial tasks.

National data from the ONS shows that UK businesses can create a 'productivity premium' of 25% simply by introducing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

In 2020 the rate of digital technology adoption by UK businesses was driven to a new high. Research in June 2020 showed 29% started using virtual collaboration software and 25% cloud-based back office systems. This amounted to five years' worth of adoption in a matter of months.

Case study

Sarah Daniels is co-founder of Norwich based Redcat Partnership, a health and safety consultancy which provides training.

When Sarah saw the Go Digital offer of free advice - and a potential grant of £500 for new technology, she leapt at the opportunity.

"It was just the sort of impartial expertise we needed at the time," she explains.

Getting a Go Digital adviser

"Our adviser, Stuart Forrester was excellent. He helped us shape our strategic thinking and gave us the confidence to put our ideas into action."

Sarah was particularly impressed by Stuart's approach, which "felt like good coaching. He really took the time to actively listen and, because it was confidential, I felt I could be open with him. We all tend to know what we need to do - but sometimes we need someone to remind and guide us."

As well as helping Sarah and her partner Richard clarify their long-term business plans, Stuart also gave them suggestions for practical ways to improve their digital communications.

"He gave me to the confidence to do more with digital platforms, such as Instagram, and advised us on how to use key words on our website for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) purposes."

Seeing success

Since taking part in Go Digital, Redcat has been busy helping many clients to reopen workplaces safely after lockdown. As such, Sarah and Richard are still working their way through many of Stuart's ideas.

"Our next big project is to set up a proper Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to improve our customer communications," says Sarah, "and we have already had a number of conversations with a recommended provider.

"I am delighted that the £500 grant will help pay for that, not least because it gives us a real incentive to follow through. We knew we would have to do something like this to grow the business but until we spoke to Stuart it seemed quite daunting. However," Sarah concludes.

"Thanks to his advice and the Go Digital grant, we are more confident about taking the next steps in our Redcat journey."

Help your business grow

Apply for free digital advice and £500 grant

Apply now

Requirements to take part in the Go Digital funding programme:

  • Your business must be based in Norfolk
  • You must have fewer than 250 employees
  • Your turnover must be less than £42.9M
  • You must have received less than £198k in public sector funding in the last 3 years.
  • You were trading positively at the end of 2019
  • You already use digital technology in some way e.g. a website, social media account etc

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Last modified: 14 May 2024 12:42

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