Minister launches guide for SMEs to realise potential of the ‘purple pound’

Published on Wednesday, 29 August 2012 15:54
Posted by Scott Buckler

A business guide aimed at making more firms aware of the £80 billion potential spending power of disabled people and encourage them to capitalise on the success of the London 2012 Games is being launched today by the Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller

Commonly referred to as the 'purple pound' the combined spending power of disabled people in the UK is £80 billion a year.

Now a new guide 'Growing your customer base to include disabled people' is being launched to help small and medium sized business.

Launching the guide at London House / City Hall, Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller said:

"There are now over 11 million disabled people in the UK today which is around 19% of the population.  This equates to a lot of clout for the purple pound.

"Many SMEs – which make up the majority of UK businesses – are unaware of this potential market.

"That is why we are now launching a guide – specifically aimed at SMEs – which can help them win significant additional business from a new group of customers that they may not have targeted before.

"It's a practical guide for businesses which gives common–sense and often low–cost solutions, which can make a big difference to a disabled customer.

"And what better time – at the start of the Paralympics – to realise the contribution that disabled people are making in all walks of life."

The guide has been developed by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in conjunction with the Employers' Forum on Disability and the Department for Work and Pensions.

Research shows that there are two main barriers to SMEs focusing on disabled customers. One is low awareness of how they could boost their sales and profits by making their business more attractive to disabled customers.

The second is fear and discomfort with disability coupled with a narrow understanding of 'access' and confusion about what is meant by 'reasonable adjustments'.

Source: ©DWP

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