Online Retail Scheme grants 183 retailers an average of €35,500 each

2 Jul 2020

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

A total of 183 retailers will receive between €16,000 and €40,000 in funding under the Government’s Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme.

Today (2 July), Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Leo Varadkar, TD, announced that 183 retailers were approved for a total of €6.5m in funding through the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme.

The Government scheme, which is administered by Enterprise Ireland, aims to help retail businesses strengthen their online offerings and enable them to reach a wider customer base.

Almost three-quarters of the successful applicants are located outside Dublin, with 130 retailers from these regions approved for funding. The value of the scheme, which received a total of 373 applications, was increased from €2m to €6.5m due to the high level of demand from retailers and the quality of proposals received.

The Online Retail Scheme

The scheme aims to help Irish-owned retail businesses to strategically enhance their online sales capabilities, so they can be more competitive, sustain jobs and scale their businesses in international markets.

Under this Covid-19 competitive call, the successful applicants will receive funding ranging from €16,000 to €40,000. The average grant value awarded is €35,500.

Enterprise Ireland has said that it will be opening a second call under the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme in the coming weeks.

“The Government has put a wide range of financial measures in place to help businesses respond to the Covid-19 pandemic,” Varadkar said.

“The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme was introduced back in April to help indigenous Irish retailers to get better established online – which was essential to get through the crisis and is even more important now as they seek to expand their customer base for the future.”

‘Competition is no longer local’

Varadkar added that “competition is no longer local”, so if businesses want to be competitive today and in the longer term, they need to “fully embrace” the digital opportunity. He said the Government’s job in the coming weeks and months is to help businesses get back on track in every way that they can.

“As our workplaces and businesses reopen, we must help our country recover, repair the damage that has been done, and restore confidence and prosperity,” Varadkar said. “The July jobs stimulus will be radical and far-reaching and will set our economy on the right course for the next five years and beyond.”

Enterprise Ireland CEO Julie Sinnamon said the scheme will strengthen smaller retailers selling in-demand products and services, especially when it comes to withstanding future challenges, such as the potential consequences of Brexit.

“I would encourage any eligible retail enterprises that have not applied or have not been successful in this call, to apply for funding in the next call for applications, details of which will be published shortly,” she added.

The 183 businesses awarded funding operate across a range of sectors, including healthcare, jewellery, fashion, sports, homeware, furniture, electrical goods and equipment. They include Golden Discs, Weir & Sons, Best Menswear, Fallon & Byrne, Waltons Music and Thunders Bakery.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic