Voucher support scheme launches for local small firms

All Things Business GDI Scheme

With the government furlough scheme coming to an end this month as the UK enters another economic recession, many SMEs may be concerned about shifting into the ‘new normal’. Fortunately, there are other avenues for support still available to businesses – if you know where to look.

123 Internet Group, a digital marketing agency based in Kiln Farm, Milton Keynes, are proud to be supporting the new Growth through Digital Innovation (GDI) voucher scheme, in collaboration with NatWest. This exciting new scheme has been introduced to help businesses and charities in the local area to bounce back from COVID-19, with successful applicants receiving a £1,000 voucher towards digital web design, branding or marketing services. The idea is that with cost savings on digital projects that were previously put on hold, the successful ability of SMEs to deliver services to customers will spur business growth and help them through these unprecedented times. As an independent creative agency with local roots and ‘family’ values, the GDI scheme is an incentive that 123 are happy to back.

Scott Jones, CEO of 123 Internet Group, said:

“We were very fortunate to be minimally impacted by COVID-19, and that’s why we feel that offering our support to others in need is the right thing to do. I’m delighted that 123 are contributing to the Growth through Digital Innovation scheme. Now is the time for business owners to step up and help one another through this difficult period.”

During the height of the pandemic, Scott and his team continued to support clients remotely with strategy, social, web, SEO, and media services, without the need to furlough any staff. The company even managed to achieve significant growth during this period, adding five new recruits to the in-house design, social and content teams. Behind the scenes, 123 helped local organisations to deliver ‘business as usual’ at a time when digital services were fundamental for reaching customers at home. While the nationwide lockdown may have lifted, the key learnings from this period are just as relevant today. Digital transformation is critical for businesses to survive the recession.

“As we move into the new normal, supporting SMEs is essential,” said Scott. “Understandably, many businesses have had to cut back, but the danger here is that without the right marketing support, they could easily fade into the background, leaving others who are more digitally capable to take the market share. Cash flow is king, so the £1,000 GDI scheme will hopefully support these businesses in need. They can benefit from the discount and obtain direct access to specialists who can deliver what’s needed to help them thrive.”

As platinum partners and long-standing supporters of the Chamber of Commerce for both Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire, 123 Internet Group are backing the GDI scheme on behalf of their fellow members, also extending discounted digital services to those in the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber. 123 hope that by giving something back to local businesses, this will help to stimulate the all-important business growth SMEs need to ride the wave. NatWest are also offering their support to the GDI scheme. In addition to the £1,000 discount voucher, business owners will get exclusive access to the NatWest Business Builder – a free online tool for digital learning, immersive virtual events and workshops, and community networking opportunities – regardless of whether they are existing NatWest customers.

“Our ongoing relationship and collaboration with NatWest is exciting,” added Scott. “I am proud that through their support and access to the Business Builder hub we’ll be able to further support SMEs with their digital transformation.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the resilience of businesses large and small, also serving as a reminder that there is no shame in business owners choosing to outsource their marketing activity. In fact, the benefits of being able to focus attention on more pressing matters are clear.

This is exactly why agencies like 123 Internet Group exist – to offer digital expertise to those who need it. It’s the same sentiment that has kept the company thriving for almost 10 years and continuing to grow year on year. Building on their contribution to the GDI scheme, 123 Internet Group are now working to support local non-profit groups like the Ronald McDonald House Charities, who care for sick children and their families in the UK. Organisations who want to learn more about the GDI voucher scheme or NatWest Business Builder tool can now register for the official online launch event, which takes place on Thursday 8 October.

The event is free to attend and will explain in more detail about how these incentives can help local businesses to hit their marketing goals and achieve digital growth. To book your place for the launch event, or apply for the GDI scheme, visit 123internet.agency/gdi

Applications for the GDI scheme close on October 31 2020. For more information about 123 Internet Group or their digital marketing services, visit https://www.123internet.agency

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