04 May 2000 | David Arminas
The Welsh Development Agency (WDA) is helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to get wired up for e-commerce, writes David Arminas.
The Wales smE-Business Programme is a two-year, £5 million scheme that includes advice and consultancy for about 1,500 companies at a third of the usual cost.
"It's a wide-ranging awareness programme with a series of presentations around the country," said Rosemary O'Connor, the WDA's programme manager, business competitiveness.
O'Connor believes around 10,000 companies could benefit from the workshops. The topics they will cover include security, Internet shopping malls and business-to-business and business-to-consumer relations, as well as any other areas of local interest.
The WDA is completing the tendering process to register 70 independent consultants for advising SMEs throughout the project, which is expected to run until next December.
The scheme is launched at a time when the government is promoting the UK as the best place in Europe for e-commerce. It was announced in this year's budget that SMEs will get 100 per cent tax relief on investing in e-commerce to reduce companies' fears about spending on these systems.