The funding will go to 22 projects through Local Enterprise Partnerships, including the development of a digital TV channel in Manchester which provides easily-accessible and cost-effective advice to businesses, supported by events, advice and networking sessions.
Businesses will also have access to resources and advice on how they can Do More Online via the website or support helpline and Whitehall has been working with digital skills charity Go ON UK to create specific resources.
“Thousands of potential customers are searching online for local small businesses and without an online profile, businesses will lose out,” claimed Business and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock.
“To make sure consumers get the best deal and small businesses spread their nets far and wide, the government is investing in a range of advice to help them do more online.
“I am committed to making the UK the best place in the world to start up and grow and this is integral to achieving that,” Hancock added.
“31% of small businesses in the UK lack basic digital skills, making them less competitive than many of their peers,” claimed Go ON UK CEO Rachel Neaman.
“The UK is embracing technology more and more with new jobs and new businesses being ‘born on the web’ yet just half of small businesses and charities have a website.
“Go ON UK welcomes the government’s investment in addressing the digital skills gap for small businesses,” she added.
The digital skills charity is currently partnering with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the Business is GREAT initiative which aims to help small businesses and sole traders realise the impact developing basic digital skills can have on their prospects.