Cheshire East Council is encouraging SMEs in the borough to take part in a free programme to help them adopt digital accounting technologies to aid their recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Adoption of Digital Accounting and Payment Technology (ADAPT) programme will give businesses that sign up access to a dedicated knowledge hub with information about the technologies available, the benefits and how they can be adopted, as well as best-practice guides. The scheme aims to tackle the challenges of late payments and debt by automating invoicing and payment processes.
A limited number of businesses will also be selected to take part in an online event hosted by Barclays Technology Campus in Knutsford, as well a secure fully-funded support. Cheshire East Council is also progressing plans to deliver digital masterclasses for local SMEs in the coming months.
Cllr Nick Mannion, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for environment and regeneration, said:
It is estimated that more than £14bn is owed in late payments to the UK’s SMEs and the effect on such businesses can be huge – especially in the current climate as the impacts of Covid-19 continue to be felt.
“We are committed to supporting businesses to recover from the pandemic and are pleased to be able to provide this programme so that we can help businesses to boost their productivity and get paid faster.”
The ADAPT programme, which is provided to SME businesses by Cheshire East Council and is funded by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, is open to SME businesses based in, or with a site in, Cheshire East.
Places are strictly limited to 200 and as part of the programme, businesses will be asked to take part in a series of before and after surveys.
Cllr Sarah Pochin, Cheshire East Council’s business champion, said:
Chasing money that is owed diverts internal resources and reduces the amount that can be spent building and developing a business.
“And since the outbreak of Covid-19 and the government restrictions, the issues around late payment have only been made worse, so this programme presents a real opportunity for SMEs.
“Places are limited and so I encourage SMEs to register their interest for this programme as soon as possible, so they can begin to take advantage of the wealth of information and best practice guidance available.”
An expression of interest form and further information is available from the programme website.