Salford City Council has offered local businesses free training and grants to improve their cyber security.
It said the move will support businesses that may have missed out on government funding during lockdowns, and believes it is the only local authority in the country to use government business support grants in this way.
Funding is available to support 100 SMEs and 200 freelance and self-employed home based businesses. The two courses are being delivered by the HOST Salford innovation hub in partnership with Salford City Council.
The Cyber Workforce course is a free one-day course for established business owners, self-employed people and freelancers in Salford whose business currently involves or plans to implement online trading.
Participants will receive a £1,000 grant on successful completion of the course to enhance the cyber security in their business through buying new hardware, software, or licenses for security products.
The Cyber SME course runs for two days and combines advanced awareness with hands on, real life technical scenarios. Participants will obtain a £2,500 grant.
The money has come from the council’s bid for Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) Top Up funding, from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to help businesses severely affected by Covid-19.
This initiative is part of Cyber Salford, an ambition to create the most cyber enabled city in the UK.
Councillor Bill Hinds, lead member for financial and support services, said: “The trend towards buying goods and services online has accelerated because of the pandemic and we want Salford businesses to make the most of that.
“Keeping customer details safe and taking payments online is a huge challenge for some small and independent businesses so we decided to use this funding in a unique way. As a leader in cyber security, we’re proud to share our skills and take an innovative approach to distributing business grants which also brings social value to the city.”
“I’d urge any small to medium sized business, freelance worker or self-employed trader to get in touch to see if they qualify. Places are limited so they need to sign up as soon as possible. We want to make sure we help every business we can.”
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