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Digital Solutions Program enters round 2

If you’re a small business owner in Australia, there’s good news for you!

The government has completed the provider selection process for Round 2 of the Digital Solutions – Australian Small Business Advisory Services Program. 

Each provider of Digital Solutions will be responsible for delivering services exclusively in a specific region:

  • Realise Business will provide services in New South Wales and the ACT.
  • Business Foundations will provide services in Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory.
  • Darebin Enterprise Centre will provide services in Victoria, South Australia, and Tasmania.

This program aims to provide critical support and guidance to small businesses across the country by offering them digital solutions and advisory services to improve their online presence and operations.

In today’s business landscape, where the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a multitude of challenges, the Digital Solutions – Australian Small Business Advisory Services Program is more important than ever. It’s designed to help small businesses stay competitive by providing cutting-edge digital solutions and expert advice on how to leverage them.

More about the Digital Solutions program

The Digital Solutions – Australian Small Business Advisory Services program helps small businesses use digital tools and provides advice on websites, online selling, social media, software, and online security. 

Small businesses with at most 20 full-time employees or sole traders can participate, and the program is available across all areas of Australia. Workshops and webinars are free, but there is a small fee for one-on-one support.

The response to Round 1 of the program was overwhelming, with more than 45,000 small businesses participating. This highlights the critical need for digital solutions and advisory services among small businesses nationwide.

Xero’s Managing Director APAC, Joseph Lyons says: “Utilising digital technology is essential for small businesses to succeed and grow in today’s digital economy. Xero supports the second round of the federal government’s Australian Small Business Advisory Services Program for enhancing the digitisation efforts of small businesses across the country. 

“While Australia has a thriving small business economy, research from Xero highlights there is hesitancy to invest in digital solutions. 

Data shows 70 per cent of Australian small business owners delay decisions about upgrading technology because they don’t feel urgent, while 60 per cent put off making technology-related decisions if confronted with too many options. However, there is clear evidence that businesses that invest in technology are more profitable and see one-third fewer job losses than those with lower levels of investment. 

With the release of the Productivity Commission’s Advancing Prosperity report, the evidence is clear that supporting digitisation initiatives are fundamental to improving Australia’s overall productivity. With small businesses making up more than 97 per cent of all businesses in the country, they are an essential part of this equation. 

“Support from governments of all levels is therefore critical to maintaining this momentum and ensuring small businesses don’t miss out on the valuable benefits technology can bring to multiple core business functions.”

Julie Collins, the Minister for Small Business, has praised the success of Round 1 and the selection of providers for Round 2. She noted that small businesses in all regions of the country could access these services, even those in remote or regional areas, which is a significant development.

 “Through this program, we want to give small businesses nationwide the skills and confidence they need to embrace digital opportunities.  “The Albanese Government is investing in small businesses to help them create jobs, harness opportunities, and grow in the digital economy.   

“Digitalisation is the key to unlocking productivity gains, creating efficiencies and better connecting small businesses with their customers.  “We know just how critical this is as more and more Australians connect with small businesses online.” 

The three providers chosen for Round 2 have extensive experience and expertise in digital solutions and will provide tailored support to small businesses. If you register for the program, you’ll have access to a range of resources and support.

You can receive up to four hours of one-to-one digitalisation advice from a qualified and experienced business advisor for a small fee. This advice will be tailored to your specific needs and help you improve your online presence, streamline your operations, and grow your business.

In addition to one-to-one advisory services, you can also take advantage of free workshops, presentations, and self-directed tutorials covering a range of important topics. These resources include websites and selling online, social media and digital marketing, using small business software, as well as cyber security and data privacy. These resources will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to stay competitive in an increasingly digital world.

With the selection of providers for Round 2, the government is confident that small businesses across the country will be able to access the support they need to thrive and succeed in the years to come.

For more information, visit the business.gov.au website.

ALSO READ: The power of digital solutions for staying ahead in the modern business landscape.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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