Nearly all middle market businesses (93%) say the Government should prioritise investment in digital infrastructure; and 76% of them could turn to the Government’s Help to Grow Scheme for financial support, although eligibility for this scheme remains a challenge for some.
The scheme is intended to give SMEs management skills and subsidies to encourage adoption of digital technologies, however this is dependent upon access to fast, reliable broadband.
Over 40% of middle market business leaders said prioritising investment in rural broadband and 5G would bring the most significant benefit to their business.
Chris Knowles, Chief Digital Officer at RSM UK (which carried out the survey of 400 UK middle market business leaders), stated: "Investment in fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure to support remote business working and cloud-based technology is crucial to the post-lockdown recovery and is a key factor in enabling economic growth.
"During the 2019 election the Government promised to invest £5bn to help bring gigabit-capable broadband to all homes and business across the UK, yet this promise had been diluted and apparently de-prioritised.
"We are keen to see the promises of Project Gigabit delivered as soon as possible to communities and business regions most in need.
"While the Help to Grow scheme announced in March, to invest £520m in SME growth through technology advice and software discounts is helpful, a real commitment to investment in UK digital infrastructure is urgently needed."