Up to 50 small businesses in Dublin are to receive online trading vouchers valued at €2,500 apiece to help them participate in the digital economy.
The Dublin City Enterprise Board is working in partnership with the Department of Communications to run a pilot programme under the National Digital Strategy, aimed at small businesses in the Dublin City Council area.
Under the ‘Online Trading Voucher’ scheme, the 50 small businesses will be able to spend up to €2,500 on this voucher (or up to a maximum of 50pc of the relevant costs) to develop or upgrade their websites or to rollout their digital marketing strategies.
The scheme is part of the first phase in the National Digital Strategy for Ireland, under the ‘Trading On-line and Entrepreneurship for Indigenous Companies’ strand.
If successful, the scheme could be rolled out to small businesses across the country and the deadline for receipt of applications is this Friday, 15 November.
According to Greg Swift, CEO of the Dublin City Enterprise Board, the purpose of the pilot programme is to encourage more small businesses to increase sales and reduce costs through trading online.
“According to McKinsey, small to medium-sized businesses with a strong internet presence, can grow twice as fast and export twice as much. With less than a quarter of small companies selling online here in 2012, we’re encouraging more small businesses to make the move online and to reap the business benefits.”
Sole traders, partnerships or limited companies which employ fewer than 10 people with a turnover of less than €2m can apply, provided they are registered in the Dublin City Council area.
The local Enterprise Board has also said that the pilot scheme isn’t aimed at companies which have professional IT services in-house and are already capable of trading online.