Time is running out to bid for a share of £2million funding available through an innovative scheme to help boost small and medium-sized businesses.
Organisations which develop services which boost productivity, such as e-commerce software, cloud computing or ways to improve business management, will be eligible for a slice of the funding.
The scheme will also evaluate the effectiveness of these ideas in the short, medium and long term.
Applications for the first phase of funding close at noon on September 4 – meaning businesses across the Marches need to move quickly if they want to bid for the money.
Maximum funding of £60,000 is available to develop an idea which helps SMEs boost their productivity, while there is a maximum £400,000 to fund a trial.
Small Business Minister Andrew Griffiths, launching the scheme, said: "Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, with more than 1,000 new businesses starting up every day, and it is vital that we support them to grow through our modern Industrial Strategy.
"The Business Basics Fund will test new and innovative ways of supporting small businesses to take advantage of technologies and management practices – giving small business leaders the tools and support they need to continue to thrive."
The CBI says that encouraging more businesses to take advantage of leading technologies, management practices and business support services could bring a massive £100billion economic dividend.
Matthew Fell, CBI UK chief policy director, said: ‘Put simply, UK businesses must do more to improve their productivity to get themselves match fit to compete globally in the years ahead.
‘Low uptake of the nuts and bolts technologies of today is a key feature of the productivity puzzle that can, and must, be tackled."
To find out more and apply by September 4, visit the application pages on the Innovation Funding Service website