€5m given to 133 retailers as part of Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme

30 Jun 2021

From left: Ross O’Colmain, Enterprise Ireland; Damien English, TD; Siobhan and Derbhil Geoghegan, Geoghegans in Navan. Image: Maxwell Photography

The latest call for the fund administered by Enterprise Ireland saw almost 70pc of successful applicants located outside of Dublin.

The third call of the Government’s Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme granted funding to 133 retailers across Ireland to strengthen their online offerings.

This announcement today (30 June) follows the initial call in July, which benefitted 183 retailers, and a second call in November, which granted funding to 145 retailers.

The scheme was first launched in April 2020 to help small retailers boost their digital presence and is complementary to the €2,500 Trading Online Vouchers.

It is open to Ireland-based retailers with a physical store and a pre-existing online presence that employ 10 or more people. It focuses on retailers that mostly sell products to individual consumers rather than business customers.

This latest call of the Online Retail Scheme received 292 applications. Of the 133 successful applicants, 68pc are located outside Dublin.

These retailers 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 80pc of project costs. The grants are administered by Enterprise Ireland.

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English, TD, said there has been a very positive response to the scheme from the Irish retail sector.

“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 e-commerce market,” he said.

“The economic value of operating in the e-commerce 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.”

Enterprise Ireland’s Ross O’Colmain said the agency is committed to increasing the capability of Irish enterprises to increase their export sales.

“Whether new to e-commerce or already operating a transactional website, this scheme aims to facilitate a step change for each of the successful applicants in the operation of an efficient online sales platform that complements their physical stores,” he said.

“Ultimately, retailers who are investing in their online presence will be more resilient and better able to take advantage of evolving market opportunities.”

Jenny Darmody is the editor of Silicon Republic