An Online Retail scheme to support retail businesses boost their online sales and grow their customer base has been launched today.
The €5.5 million fund will be administered by Enterprise Ireland, on behalf of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and will support retail businesses to enhance their digital capability.
The scheme, which is part of the Government's July Stimulus package, is targeted at retailers with a pre-existing online presence and will help accelerate their online offerings.
The grant can be used to fund fees for service providers, to develop and implement a digital strategy supported by in-house training, and to enhance the retailer's website and related systems.
Successful applicants will receive a grant of up to 80% of project costs, with these grants ranging from €10,000 to a maximum of €40,000.
Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English said the Government has been listening to retailers across the country "and it is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to make it an urgent priority for businesses to accelerate the growth of their online offering".
"For many retailers, developing their online sales channel for consumers has been a long-term goal prior to the pandemic," he said. "The increased customers and revenue make an important contribution to the bottom line. It also provides consumers with more opportunities to support local businesses in their community, even when shopping online."
Stephen Creaner, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland, said the funding will provide a welcome boost to retail.
Great Outdoors successfully applied for an Online Retail Scheme grant in a previous call. Derek Moody, Owner and Director at Great Outdoors, said the opportunities this scheme presented to our business have been eye opening.
"Prior to applying to the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme, online business was already very important to Great Outdoors. However, we were at a stage where significant investment was required to take the business to the next level," Mr Moody said. "This opportunity came at exactly the right moment and, as a result, we are much further ahead with our projected timeline for online development."
The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme opens for applications on Monday, 31 August 2020 and closes at 3pm on Monday, 28 September 2020.