11 May 2021 | 09.48 am
Online Retail Scheme Opens For Applications
Grants of up to €40k to develop digital presence
11 May 2021 | 09.48 am
The government has launched a new round of its Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme, which provides grants of between €10,000 and €40,000 to help businesses upgrade their websites and improve their competitiveness in online retail.
The €5m scheme is administered by Enterprise Ireland and is targeted at Irish-based retailers with a physical store and a pre-existing online presence.
Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme grants can be used to fund fees for service providers to develop and implement a digital strategy supported by in-house training, and to enhance websites and related systems.
The scheme is open to eligible Irish-owned retail enterprises that had 10 or more employees on or before 29 February 2020 (or have grown to this level since then), and have the potential to sustain or create jobs, generate growth in online transactions and with an ambition to internationalise their business in the future.
The government launched a pilot online retail scheme in late 2018, through which funding of almost €900,000 was approved for 40 retailers during 2019.
There have also been two previous calls under the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme. In the first call, 185 retailers were funded to a total of €6.6m, while 145 retailers received a total of €5.3m under the second call.
The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme closes at 12 noon on Tuesday, 25 May 2021.
Commenting on the scheme, junior business minister Damien English noted that over the last year, survival for many Irish retailers has been dependent on having an online presence.
“It continues to be a top priority for retailers to evolve these channels and take advantage of the new and existing local, national and international opportunities that exist through selling online,” English added.
Stephen Creaner, executive director in Enterprise Ireland, said that more than two-thirds of Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme grants have gone to companies located outside Dublin. “It is important that eligible retailers applying for the scheme plan appropriately and examine their current and potential online presence in order to put forward strong business cases.
“Enterprise Ireland has published a number of helpful resources online and we have a dedicated retail team who can answer any other questions you have around the application process.”