| by Manchester City Council

Businesses in Manchester and Salford are benefiting from connectivity grants. Are you?

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We have a commitment to support local businesses and are helping to fund the installation of superfast internet connectivity with up to £3,000 of vouchers.

Faster connection can make your business more efficient, cheaper to run and easier to develop:

More people can share your connection at one time and still enjoy high speeds services such as videoconferencing, which require faster speeds, work better ‘Voice over IP’ becomes possible for more users, replacing conventional telephones ‘Cloud’-based services (storing information ‘virtually’) work faster and with shorter delays.

 

It’s a grant, not a loan, so you don’t need to pay us back.

In most cases, the vouchers (accepted by most internet service providers, including the best-known household names) will cover the cost of getting connected, leaving you to pay just the VAT and monthly subscription.

If you’re a sole trader, a self-employed home worker, or if you employ fewer than 250 people, you could be eligible for this grant*. As long as your turnover is less than £43million each year (even if you share a building with other business tenants, or your landlord provides a managed service) you can apply. Read how two other businesses have already benefited.

It’s easy to apply – just visit manchester.gov.uk/superconnected and request a quote.

“We’ve taken on two new employees recently. We wouldn’t have been able to do that without the new system that we got through the connection voucher scheme.”

- Andrew McMahon, Head of Accounts and Treasury Division, Bennett Jones

For Bennett Jones, the scheme has led to growth and the creation of two jobs – just five months after they became better connected. Before the new internet connections were brought in, systems at Bennett Jones were slow. For a company that makes its sales from call centres, that was not good enough.

“It’s made a massive difference to us,” Andrew said. “We use a voiceover internet protocol system with scripts running alongside the system on screen. But the old connection would drop calls, there would be a big time delay, and the quality of the calls was poor. Now there are no problems and the new connection has made a huge difference to us.”

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for Manchester and Salford businesses to become internationally competitive.”

- Doug Garside, Technical Director, Edit 19

This post-production firm, specialising in high-end TV adverts, graphics and visual effects, said that their improved connectivity has already allowed them to challenge market leaders in London for contracts.

“The faster our connection the 'closer' we are to our distributor, allowing us to compete with London companies. We don’t have the overheads that they do in terms of rent, which means we can offer big savings and acquire work that would typically go to London.”

Doug added: “We applied for the SuperConnected grant to improve our services to clients. The broadband speed we have now helps us transfer data and digital assets over the internet and offer more complex services – for small and medium-sized businesses it’s a real growth accelerator.”

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