Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Damien English has today announced the successful applicants approved for funding through the second call of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme which is administered by Enterprise Ireland.
As part of the scheme, 145 retailers have been approved €5.3M in funding, 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.
The scheme received 204 applications with 70% of the successful applicants located outside Dublin with 102 retailers from these regions approved for funding.
Under this Covid-19 competitive call, the successful applicants will receive funding ranging from €16,000 to €40,000 to strengthen their online offering. The average grant value is €36,700 and covers up to 80% of project costs.
The Online Retail Scheme was open to Irish-owned 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 supported by in-house training and enhance the retailer’s website.
Commenting on the scheme, Minister Damien English said, "We know that consumers are keen to support their local retailers, even when shopping online, and these grants will help businesses to really maximise the opportunities in the e-commerce market. Of course, this market is not limited by geography and physical location and we know that Irish businesses with strong online resources also have their eyes on the international marketplace."
Executive Director at Enterprise Ireland, Stephen Creaner added, "Grants through this scheme are being used by retailers to upgrade their systems to improve their digital presence and to become more competitive in the virtual marketplace. This is helping to broaden their customer base and grow sales with some companies reporting that they are recruiting extra staff as result. Ultimately, retailers who are investing in their online presence now are also strengthening their offering to help deal with the uncertainty and challenges that lie ahead."