145 retailers to receive €5.3m from Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme

9 Nov 2020281 Views

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The Government announced that 145 retailers in Ireland have secured €5.3m in support as part of the second call of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme.

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English, TD, announced today (9 November) the successful applicants approved for funding through the second call of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme, which is administered by Enterprise Ireland.

This will see 145 retailers across Ireland gain access to a total of €5.3m in funding. The scheme aims to support businesses impacted by Covid-19 restrictions by helping to strengthen their online presence.

A total of 204 applications were received for the call, with 70pc of those successful located outside of Dublin. Each business will receive between €16,000 and €40,000 under the scheme, with the average grant value being €36,700. This, the Government said, would cover up to 80pc of project costs.

Under the first call of the scheme announced in July, 183 retailers received a total of €6.5m in funding.

“The economic value of operating in the e-commerce space and its convenience for customers has come to the fore in 2020 and this scheme aims to help companies improve and maximise digital sales prospects,” English said.

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“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.”

Who can apply

The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme is open to Irish-owned retailers with a physical store and that are selling predominantly to individual customers. Applicants are also required to have a pre-existing online presence and employ 10 or more people. The scheme works alongside the €2,500 Trading Online Vouchers, provided through the Local Enterprise Offices for companies with up to 10 employees.

Enterprise Ireland will be opening a new call under the scheme early next year. Stephen Creaner, executive director for Enterprise Ireland, said the scheme has proven to be “very attractive” for retailers.

“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,” he said.

“This is helping to broaden their customer base and grow sales with some companies reporting that they are recruiting extra staff as result.”

Colm Gorey is a senior journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

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