Small businesses' broadband grants
Small businesses in 10 cities across the UK will be able to apply for grants to install high speed broadband as part of a £100 million scheme to boost growth and exports.
Firms in Belfast, Salford, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Derby, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newport, London and Manchester will be able to access grants worth up to £3,000 to improve their connections, with the scheme due to be extended to 12 more cities next year.
Prime Minister David Cameron said he wanted to give firms the ability to set up or locate anywhere in the UK.
The announcement is timed to coincide with the Small Business Saturday initiative promoting the firms Mr Cameron described as the "lifeblood of our economy".
The Prime Minister said: " Up to £3,000 of broadband vouchers for small business in these cities is not only a massive boost for growth in the UK, but also has the potential to bring China to Cardiff, Brazil to Bristol and the Emirates to Edinburgh in an increased export market.
"As part of our economic plan, I want to give our small businesses every possible advantage to compete in the global race - and also the flexibility to locate or set up right across the UK.
"To do that we are working on a complete overhaul of the UK's infrastructure; high speed broadband is a vital part of this. And on Small Business Saturday, what better way to support small businesses - the lifeblood of our economy - than to help kit them out for the 21st century."
London Mayor Boris Johnson said that, under the scheme, b usinesses in six of the capital's boroughs will be invited to apply for up to £3,000 to help fast better connections.
"Today's markets are more competitive than ever and it is essential London's businesses are at the forefront, driving our economy forward, with cutting-edge technology at their fingertips," he said.
"I am delighted this scheme will provide practical support that will enable our entrepreneurs to become super-connected and supercharged, ready to thrive and expand."