Google is launching a support package to help 1 million small British businesses survive the coronavirus crisis.
Small businesses across the UK can sign up for Google’s UKOpenForBusiness package of support from today, offering a range of tools and initiatives to help them be found online.
In partnership with Digital Boost, Google will offer 10,000 hours of free mentoring to small businesses over the next 12 months.
This will connect businesses with Google’s Digital Garage coaches and Google employees who will offer one-on-one mentoring on how to make their business more discoverable online and attract new customers.
These sessions will primarily focus on how businesses can restart their operations and adapt to operate in the post-lockdown landscape.
Alongside this, Google has pledged £25 million in advertising credits and grants for small businesses, government agencies and NGOs.
“Local businesses are the lifeblood of our communities,” Google UK’s managing director Ronan Harris said.
“Like millions up and down the country, we want to help small businesses both survive and thrive. Through this programme we’re aiming to upskill SMEs and charities by helping them adapt to operating in a post lockdown environment.
“Despite the ongoing uncertainty, we want to show that having an online presence can have a transformative impact on offline businesses”.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak added: “Our small businesses form the backbone of the British economy, fuelling growth and creating jobs in communities across the country.
This has been a difficult time for them, and that’s why I am delighted that today Google have announced this plan to help small businesses recover from the crisis. We will all play a part in this national effort to get the UK open for business again safely. Google’s initiative to support our smallest firms is a great step forward in getting our economy back on track.”