Lord Mayor calls on Belfast SMEs to boost their broadband and business

The Lord Mayor has called on SMEs in the city to boost their broadband and their business.

Councillor Nichola Mallon was attending a seminar in Duncairn Centre, north Belfast providing information to businesses and social enterprises on how they can benefit from the Super Connected Belfast Voucher Scheme as well as the Super Connected Cities Business Growth Initiative.

The business growth initiative will provide local businesses which have availed of a connection voucher with one-to-one mentoring support so that they can maximise the benefits from a high-speed, high-grade broadband connection. The Super Connected Belfast Business Growth Initiative is funded by Belfast City Council together with Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.

The council was awarded £13.7 million for the Super Connected Belfast scheme from the UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s Urban Broadband Fund. It has also contributed £3 million from its Investment Programme to make Belfast a world-class digital city.

The Lord Mayor said: “Belfast is on the cusp of a digital revolution transforming how we do business. It is vital then that council and other stakeholders in the city provide our SMEs with the infrastructure to develop their products and ensure they receive assistance in achieving global success.

“We have awarded over £1 million in grant funding to businesses through our Super Connected Belfast scheme with almost 500 businesses benefiting already. Companies have boosted their broadband connection speeds and taken advantage of the benefits of doing business online such as the opportunities for growth, greater efficiency and better reliability.

Councillor Mallon added: “It isn’t just the hi-tech and creative industries that are benefiting but the digital infrastructure is providing a major boost to other sectors including manufacturing, professional services, retail and the community and voluntary sectors.

“I would call on SMEs considering taking up the offer of having faster broadband installed at their premises to get in touch with our Connection Vouchers team to find out more about boosting their broadband and their business.”

Businesses and social enterprises in the city can find out more about upcoming information seminars on the Super Connected Belfast Business Growth initiative by visiting http://www.belfastcity.gov.uk/business/businessevents/businessevents.aspx
They can also contact the Belfast Connection Vouchers team on 0800 587 4695 FREE or email connectionvouchers@belfastcity.gov.uk

For more information on the council’s support for local business, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/business and www.facebook.com/belfastbusinessinfo

A number of businesses will be transferring to Belfast from Lisburn and Castlereagh from 1 April under local government reform. These businesses can sign up to receive regular email updates on all of our business events and related news by emailing their details to economicdevelopment@belfastcity.gov.uk. For further information, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/reform