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The government has launched its broadband vouchers scheme for small businesses, which uses Urban Broadband Fund money originally designed to create a network of super-connected cities.

Under pressure from the European Union - amid competition concerns - the Con-Lib coalition was recently forced to scrap the infrastructure aspect of the £150 million initiative.

However, the government is making funding available to urban small businesses in order to improve connectivity levels - helping to ensure they can take full advantage of the online economy.

Through the revised scheme, 22 cities across the UK will benefit from up to £100 million of broadband vouchers worth up to £3,000 each.

Enterprise and Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said he was "delighted" the government has been able to demonstrate its commitment to supporting small business growth.

"Small businesses are the lifeblood of the British economy and responsible for nearly half the job creation in the UK," he stated.

"That’s why we are removing barriers to growth and supporting them, so that they can create jobs and compete in the global race."

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