The Technology Resilience Voucher Scheme is part of the C-Care (Covid Channel Area Response Exchange) project, which is funded by the EU Interreg France (Channel) England programme.
C-Care represents a total of €6.7million package of Covid recovery support from the European Regional Development Fund. The overall project aims to support businesses and individuals at risk of exclusion on both sides of the Channel.
In Kent, the new scheme is the first to launch to help businesses bounce back and become more resilient.
Successful applicant businesses will be able to redeem a voucher worth up to £1000 for services in web-based activities; remote working technologies; software solutions and apps; digital marketing and promotional activities; digital skills and capacity building; and equipment and small investments to facilitate digital activity.
Services will be provided to Kent businesses by a framework of approved digital service providers.
Derek Murphy, Kent County Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “During the pandemic, businesses realised the importance of making the best use of digital technology to connect to customers and deliver services in new ways.
“This new voucher scheme will help local firms to adopt these solutions to help with new ways of working and future growth.”
Kent County Council has also commissioned several specialist digital business advisors who will also be available to support Kent businesses interested in applying for a voucher.
These advisors will offer expert advice, guidance and recommendations to Kent-based businesses to help them in targeting activity within their application form to ensure that the vouchers have the maximum impact for the successful applicant SMEs and the wider Kent economy.
Applications from businesses in the leisure, food and drink and manufacturing sectors would be particularly welcome.
The voucher scheme, which launched on 22 November, will run for up to nine months or until the voucher budget has been fully allocated.