£1,000 grant for digital equipment helps secure more business for Zedcomms

When you’re running a business on your own, every minute counts. Investing in digital technologies can make a real difference to your profitability, as Paul Harper Owner of Zedcomms found, after accessing Business Durham’s Digital Drive County Durham programme. 

Like many business owners, Paul wears all the hats to keep his clients coming back for more of his tailored marketing services. But out-of-date equipment was slowing him down and preventing him from doing more of the video and graphics work that is in high demand. 

The solution was to buy a new Apple MacBook – an investment Paul wasn’t planning to make yet, but he spotted an opportunity to access financial support through Business Durham’s Digital Drive County Durham, a £4m programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

He explains: “The Apple MacBook is 10 times faster and more powerful compared to what I was using. I thought I would hang on, but the Digital Drive funding helps you do it now – it pushes you to do more.  

“All my work is against the clock because I need to deliver within the timescales I quote. If I get it right, then it’s profitable. If it’s wrong, I can be working for less than the national minimum wage.” 

The investment is paying off for Zedcomms, which received £1,000 grant towards the £3,000 cost of the equipment.  

Paul adds: “I recently had a new customer in Harrogate and the process went silky smooth, thanks to the equipment – I’m really seeing the benefits.” 

Time is of the essence for anyone who would like to take up Digital Drive support, as the project’s current funding allocation comes to an end in June 2023.  

Paul advises: “Plan ahead for the next year to 18 months and ask yourself what you need to achieve your plans. Apply for Digital Drive support now and get the ball rolling to bring the project forward.  

“The process is very well supported. If you get stuck, the team are there for you and get back usually within the hour.” 

Paul’s own plans for the next year are to capitalise on the demand for video and animation work, now that he has the equipment to help him complete it efficiently. 

Digital Drive County Durham is a programme being delivered on behalf of Business Durham, the business support service of Durham County Council, to help small businesses make the most of digital technology. The project can help businesses access grant funding support of up to 40% towards the cost of:   

  • Digital consultancy projects   
  • Equipment that will help to improve your business through the use of digital technology   
  • Website, app or software build   
  • Broadband infrastructure and installation   

In addition, the programme offers webinars and events in a range of digital topics with the support of advisors to make the most of digital opportunities available to business.    

Digital Drive County Durham is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Business Durham, and private investment forming part of the wider Digital Durham initiative to transform broadband speeds for residents and businesses across the North East.     

Business Durham offers a wide range of support to guide businesses of all sizes and stages through its programmes, funding, property and partnerships.