Prime minister Tony Blair and e-minister Patricia Hewitt said today at the launch of UK Online for business, that small business is well ahead in the race to get online.
According to Department of Trade and Industry figures, 1.7 million small and medium-sized enterprises are now online. This represents an increase of 1.1 million from last year and puts business ahead of schedule for the government’s target of getting 1.5 million businesses online by 2002.
Hewitt also announced £15m of funding for the new initiative – formerly the Information Society Initiative which has been running since 1996.
‘Businesses are responding to the challenges of the information revolution and seizing the opportunities it presents. However, there is still more to be done,’ she said.
‘The challenge now is not just getting connected but succeeding online using the new ways of working that e-commerce and new e-businesses practices bring,’ she added.
Today’s announcements came as the government hunts for a new e-envoy to replace Allan who left the job last week. Allan, who resigned from the post for family reasons, was responsible for driving business and government toward tough targets.
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