To support the UK’s small businesses as they continue to get through the COVID-19 pandemic, Vodafone is making business broadband free for 2021.
The offer follows new research by Vodafone partner Enterprise Nation, which has found that the number of small businesses running entirely online has doubled during the pandemic. 71% of small businesses say they are more reliant than ever on broadband.
The offer of 12 months free broadband is available on a 36-month plan to all small businesses (1 – 50 employees), including existing Vodafone customers who are eligible to upgrade, across the UK until 28 February 2021.
Research from Enterprise Nation, the UK’s leading small business community network representing more than 60,000 business people in the UK, found that:
the percentage of businesses running entirely online has doubled during the pandemic, from 27% to 55%;
71% of respondents say they rely more than ever on broadband;
70% believe a ‘dedicated’ business broadband line would be beneficial;
and 94% relied on video conferencing for work during the pandemic.
The research was carried out among 918 small businesses across the UK. 84% of respondents were in businesses of fewer than three people, and 59% were in their first three years of operation. 16% had been going for more than 10 years.
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: “2020 will go down as the year business went online – we have seen small businesses in their droves pivot to build websites, embrace social media and rely on video platforms to keep in touch with their teams. To succeed for the longer term, this requires strong broadband that won’t let you down and investment in digital technology.
“This generous offer from Vodafone will be a great help for small firms as they pick themselves up after the impact of the pandemic and keep building their business.”
Once the 12-month period has passed the monthly fee will revert back to the standard rate of £22.50 (excl. VAT) a month for Business Broadband Superfast 1 and £25 (excl. VAT) a month for Business Broadband Superfast 2. There will be a one-time fee of £20 to cover set up costs, with no further payment required until the thirteenth month.
Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK, said: “The message to small businesses is clear: we’re here to help. Businesses need to be running as efficiently as possible in 2021 – that means getting online, using the best digital tools, getting the best business advice, and spending as little money as possible. It’s great to see how businesses adapted throughout last year, and we’re here to help more do the same in 2021.”
This new offer of 12 months free broadband is a continuation of the support Vodafone provided to small businesses during the pandemic and follows a previous offer of six months free broadbandfor small businesses.
To continue to support small businesses on their digital journey, Vodafone has also set up the V-Hub small business digital support platform offering detailed guides on key aspects of operating in a more digitalised world and free one-to-one support with a business adviser. The platform covers topics such as website creation, digital marketing, remote working and cyber security.