Free digital support for small businesses

Argyll and Bute Council’s Business Gateway Service is inviting small businesses to come forward and find out if they are eligible for a free digital review to help improve their online presence and widen their customer base.

At a meeting of the Policy and Resource Committee, councillors agreed to use the remainder of the Scottish Government’s earmarked Local Authority COVID Economic Recovery (LACER) business support allocation of just under £35k to expand the provision of digital reviews to support small business growth and recovery.

Councillors previously approved £355k of Argyll and Bute’s £1.449m total LACER allocation in 2022 for direct business support through two grant funds; a business start-up grant and a business development grant, both administered through Business Gateway. The funding was fully committed by December 2022 and the scheme closed to new applicants. However, some businesses claimed less than their approved grant, leaving £35k remaining for business support.

The council’s Policy Lead for Business Development, Councillor Math Campbell-Sturgess, said: “Having an effective digital presence and trading online offers Argyll and Bute’s small businesses a host of benefits, including wider customer reach, cost savings, marketing opportunities, data-driven insights, and enhanced customer engagement.

“This remaining earmarked funding will enable us to help an additional 45 small businesses and we are keen to hear from anyone interested, particularly those in our more rural communities.”

To find out more about support for your business, call Business Gateway on 01546 604555 or email

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