Minister English Announces €5m In Grants Through COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme
Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Damien English, recently announced the successful applicants approved for funding through the third call of the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme, which is administered by Enterprise Ireland.
133 retailers have been approved for €5 million in funding as part of the scheme, which is targeted at retailers who already have an online presence to strengthen their online offering and enable them to reach a wider customer base.
According to Enterprise Ireland, the scheme received 292 applications.
68% of the successful applicants are located outside Dublin, with 90 retailers from these regions approved for funding.
Strengthen Online Offering
Under this Covid-19 competitive call, the successful applicants will receive funding ranging from €14,080 to €40,000 to strengthen their online offering.
The average grant value is €37,500 and covers up to 80% of project costs.
“There has been a very positive response from the Irish retail sector to this call for applications under the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme as Government continues to reach out and assist Irish businesses to transition and evolve as they trade through the impact of the pandemic," said Minister English.
“We know that consumers are keen to support their local retailers when shopping in store and online, and these grants will help businesses to really maximise the opportunities in the ecommerce market. Of course, this market is not limited by geography and we know that ambitious Irish businesses with strong online resources also have their eyes on selling to customers right across the globe.
“The economic value of operating in the ecommerce space and its convenience for customers has come to the fore since the onset of Covid-19 and the Online Retail Scheme will help companies improve and maximise their digital sales potential," he added.
Online Retail Scheme
The Online Retail Scheme was open to Irish-based retailers with a physical store and a pre-existing online presence who employ 10 or more people.
In addition, the scheme focuses on retailers predominantly selling products to individual consumers as opposed to those selling mainly to business customers.
Grants can be used to fund fees for service providers, develop and implement a digital strategy and support in-house training, and enhance the retailer’s website.
Siobhan Geoghegan, managing director of Geoghegan’s department store in Navan commented, “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of a strong online presence for our business and this scheme has enabled us to accelerate our online plans, allowing us to bring our excellent customer service from 70 years of retail experience online."
"We are excited to continue building on our digital offering to further complement and evolve the business in the future,” she said.