New pledges take campaign closer to target of 1 million more small businesses becoming digitally active in 2017

Pledges from HSBC; Nominet, the official registry of the .UK namespace; 123 Reg, the domain name registration and web hosting provider; and small business website builder web.com have taken Do It Digital closer to its target of helping 1 million more small businesses become digitally active in 2017.

– HSBC has pledged to get an additional 50,000 small businesses actively using online banking this year.

– Nominet will deliver a programme of campaigns throughout 2017 that will support and advise over 100,000 UK small businesses on how to successfully get their business online. It will provide free digital advice, including top tips and guidance on key topics such as building a winning website and keeping your business safe online, as well as easy access to great offers from many of its accredited registrars to assist with the process.

– 123 Reg aims to help over 150k small businesses improve their basic skills online through a range of resources, including a business advice blog, an online business training platform and a digital skills assessment.

– Web.com has pledged to give away 10,000 free ‘Get me online starter packs’ to small businesses across the UK. The packs include a ‘Google My Business Page’; an Online Business Card – a one page responsive website showcasing your important business details, and a Priority Business Listing on a leading online business directory.

These new pledges follow earlier commitments by other leading players in the UK’s digital economy including eBay UK, Google, The British Library and its national network of Business & IP Centres, Enterprise Nation, The Good Things Foundation and the Federation of Small Businesses.

Michelle Ovens MBE, Director at Do It Digital, says: “All evidence supports the belief that there are clear financial benefits for small businesses embracing digital. But we also know that many don’t have the time or access to the expertise to take advantage of what’s available to them. The commitment of great organisations like HSBC, Nominet and web.com shows that the support is out there for small businesses. They just need to take advantage of the free help that is being made available.”

Helen Tomes, Director of Marketing & Service Delivery, Nominet, said: “This is a great initiative and we are always keen to play our part in supporting those who want to reap the benefits of being online but are yet to make the move. Helping over 100,000 UK businesses to get online will not only benefit the individuals and SMEs we can assist on their digital journey, but the wider economy too.”

Recent research from eBay UK suggested that the UK economy could be £8.4 billion larger if the final fifth (23 per cent) of small businesses without key digital capabilities closed the ‘digital gap’.

Small businesses in Britain without digital infrastructure including a website, social media channels or a presence on an online marketplace are missing out on £20.2 billion in revenue each year, according to the research. This equates to £20,000 in increased revenue or efficiency savings per business, across all sectors from retail to manufacturing.