Tens of thousands of small businesses in Northern Ireland are to be helped back on their feet by BT.
The communications giant is subsiding the cost of installing ultra fast broadband connections, committing to prompt payment of suppliers and delivering a range of business mentoring, digital skills, marketing tools and mental health supports.
A total of 124,000 firms will benefit from BT’s Small Business Support Scheme amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Paul Murnaghan, director of BT’s Enterprise business in Northern Ireland, said: “Small businesses are the beating heart of our economy, high streets and communities.
“The past few months have been amongst the most challenging in living memory for SMEs.
“As they employ the majority of private sector workers here, their success is key to securing Northern Ireland’s economic recovery from the pandemic.
“Small businesses deserve the support of each and every one of us to help them thrive into the future.”
Ann McGregor, chief executive of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the past few months have been amongst the most challenging in living memory for businesses and BT’s commitment to supporting local SMEs through these tough times will be particularly welcome.
She added: “The Small Business Support Scheme is directly targeted at a number of the pressure points facing businesses now.
“Its assistance with relieving cash flow pressures for suppliers and improving digital skills across a wider business base is extremely important.
“As thousands of businesses here look to digitally transform operations and how they service customers, BT’s continued focus on connectivity is also going to be central.
“I encourage small businesses from every sector across Northern Ireland to take advantage of the expertise and support on offer.”