Google Ireland has today committed to support 60,000 Irish SMEs as they recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19. To do so, the company is announcing a package of tools, supports, and partnerships in addition to funding.
'Grow with Google' aims to support businesses to adapt and thrive by learning how to operate online. This could mean reaching new customers online, selling online for the first time, expanding to international markets or learning how to run a team virtually.
Through the Grow with Google website people can access hundreds of training courses for free, learning everything from how to get your business visible online, to how to scale your business internationally and how to collaborate with your team online. Google say 8,000 Irish people have already enhanced their digital skills through the program, and Google have commited to help an additional 40,000 people by the end of 2021.
Google will also partner with Irish organisations such as The Dublin Chamber of Commerce and The Gaelic Players Association to make additional digital skills training free and easy to access for Irish businesses.
Welcomed by ISME, the representative association for Irish SMEs, Google’s Grow with Google initiative has been specifically designed to help these businesses rebuild by enabling them to engage with new and existing customers online. SMEs will have access to free tools and training, as well as financial support in the form of 4 million euros of advertising credits and grants for NGOs.
Commenting on the initiative, Director of Small Businesses at Google Ireland, Alice Mansergh said, "Through our Grow with Google programme, we will help SMEs and NGOs grow their digital skills, empowering them to adapt and operate effectively within the confines of the current environment. Despite the ongoing uncertainty, we want to show that having an online presence can have a transformative impact on offline businesses, not just now, but into the future. I'm very excited for us to offer help and support to the incredible Irish business owners out there, to help them to succeed."
CEO of ISME, Neil McDonnell added, "We are delighted to endorse Google’s commitment to Irish SMEs. The impact of COVID-19 has been severe for businesses across all sectors, and while we know that sentiment among businesses is rising, the future remains uncertain and the coming months will certainly be challenging. The Grow with Google supports and initiatives announced today will be invaluable for businesses to help them become more resilient as they recover from the Coronavirus crisis, and simultaneously prepare for the potential impacts of Brexit."