Sage, the UK’s largest listed technology company today announces ambitious plans to support the work of North of Tyne Combined Authority and local partners in helping small business recover from COVID-19. Sage is offering free training and software worth up to £1.4m to up to 62,500 businesses across the region.
Sage is building on North of Tyne’s digital growth programme, to deliver a new £1.4m COVID recovery package – the Small Business Growth Programme – including:
- Commitment to long-term support targeted at micro and small businesses, and working alongside North of Tyne and its existing digital growth programme with partners such as the Digital Catapult, who are supporting businesses to improve their digital readiness and adopt technology
- Up to five 1-hour webinars giving businesses strong financial and digital foundations to help them make their way through the effects of COVID and plan for the year ahead. The webinars will be tailored to suit those thinking of setting up a new business or who are already flat out running their business. They are exclusive to North East microbusinesses with around 10 employees or less, and start from January 2021
- Up to 10,000 extended free trials of Sage Accounting software for webinar participants, free planning templates and links to the wider Sage partner ecosystem as needed
This announcement builds on the exciting recent commitments included in the North of Tyne’s digital growth programme, which has pledged £10m to enhance the region’s technology ecosystem, boost digital adoption and build data skills in local SMEs.
“As a leading FTSE 100 company, Sage can play a major role in supporting the Combined Authority’s ambition to grow jobs, prosperity, innovation and productivity”, comments Cllr Nick Forbes, North of Tyne Cabinet Member for Business Competitiveness and Leader of Newcastle City Council. “This exciting new programme from Sage will specifically help small businesses improve their financial and digital resilience and sits alongside recent investment by the Combined Authority and the National Innovation Centre for Data in helping businesses make better use of their data.”
This programme launches as Sage’s new flagship office, the largest office letting in the history of the North East, starts to take shape, thanks to an army of local contractors and suppliers.
Commitment to the North East
Sage is born and bred in the North East, the brainchild of a local entrepreneur who sparked a digital accounting revolution. A growing team of more than 2000 UK colleagues continue to drive world class innovation that helps small and medium businesses across the globe to stay compliant, manage their finances and unlock potential.
Last year Sage announced a £40m investment in the North East as it unveiled plans for its new UK headquarters in the region. This is the largest single office fit out in the North East, with 160 operatives working to create a state-of-the-art facility.
Sage’s flagship office will be ready in spring 2021, and has been specifically designed as an Engineering Hub, with scrum and collaboration areas that help the teams innovate at pace. The 54,000m2 site also allows Sage to grow as it continues to recruit across all levels of the organisation, with nearly 100 open roles, more than any other company in the region.
“The North East isn’t just in our heritage, it’s vital to the UK’s future success,” comments Steve Hare, CEO, Sage Group. “The region offers us access to a unique pool of talent and digital skills, and in the past few months our colleagues here been at the forefront of helping small businesses get vital support. Now we must look ahead and do our bit to help small businesses and anyone wanting to start a business, to come back stronger in 2021. I am proud that Sage is stepping up to help small businesses in the North of Tyne use technology to best effect as they look to rebuild their future.”