Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys has announced that applications are now open for the new Enterprise Ireland €2 million COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme to support retail companies to enhance their digital capability.
'The new fund, which builds on two previous successful calls of the pilot Online Retail Scheme, will be open to indigenous retailers with a physical store and employing 10 or more people to develop a more competitive online offer in response to the COVID-19 crisis,' said Enterprise Ireland in a statement.
Successful applicants will receive financial support of up to 80% of eligible project costs, with funding ranging from €10,000 to €40,000 under the competitive call, the Irish State agency said.
The Scheme, which was recently announced by Minister Humphreys, aims to address the urgent need for retail companies to achieve 'a step change in online capability to achieve business continuity, and to lay foundations for future recovery and growth.'
“As Chair of the Retail Consultation Forum, I understand the serious impact of Covid-19 on the retail sector. By introducing the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme, I want to support indigenous Irish retailers to sustain their business through the crisis and into the future," Minister Humpreys said.
“It is one of two online trading schemes that has received additional funding to support firms in this difficult period."
“Online trading will stand to your company for years to come. It will boost your revenue and make your business more resilient, and I would strongly encourage all retailers not already trading online to get online,” she added.
Accelerate Online Offerings
The €2 million fund operated and administered by Enterprise Ireland is targeted at indigenous retailers with a pre-existing online presence to accelerate their online offerings to respond to both domestic and international consumer demand, it added.
Enterprise Ireland explained that the grant can be used to fund fees for service providers, develop and implement a digital strategy supported by in-house training and enhance the retailer’s website.
“The Scheme has been developed in response to the challenges currently faced by the retail sector during the global crisis," added Stephen Hughes, head of consumer retail, Enterprise Ireland.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has put exceptional pressure on the sector in Ireland and the Online Retail Scheme funding will help support retailers who have found they will have to rapidly adapt their approach to meet an increase in consumer demand and enable online ordering and delivery to meet the new reality of home working and physical distancing restrictions.”
The COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme is complementary to the €2,500 Trading Online Vouchers provided through the Local Enterprise Offices for companies with less than 10 employees.
The online application platform will remain open until 3.00pm, Wednesday, 27 May 2020.
Information on the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme and details on how to apply are available here
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