€2m scheme to help Irish retailers embrace online shopping

A new €2m retail scheme from Enterprise Ireland that is open to indigenous retailers with a physical store and employing 10 or more people to develop a competitive online response to Covid-19 has been launched.

The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme was launched this morning (30 April) by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys, TD, and is aimed at enhancing retailers’ digital capability.

Successful applicants will receive financial support of up to 80pc of eligible project costs, with funding ranging from €10,000 to €40,000 under the competitive call.

“Online trading will stand to your company for years to come. It will boost your revenue and make your business more resilient”

The €2m scheme is part of a raft of measures amounting to €1bn of liquidity being pumped into the Irish business community by the Irish Government in response to Covid-19.

The €2m fund operated and administered by Enterprise Ireland is targeted at indigenous retailers with a pre-existing online presence to accelerate their online offerings to respond to both domestic and international consumer demand. The grant can be used to fund fees for service providers, develop and implement a digital strategy supported by in-house training and enhance the retailer’s website.

Getting Irish businesses back on their feet

“Online trading will stand to your company for years to come,” urged Minister Humphreys. “It will boost your revenue and make your business more resilient, and I would strongly encourage all retailers not already trading online to get online.

“I also want to acknowledge the daily efforts of all of those working in retail – the stores, suppliers, distribution centres and logistics operations, who continue to provide us with the goods that we need in shops and in our homes. It is important that we all continue to shop and trade safely during this difficult time.”

The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme is complementary to the €2,500 Trading Online Vouchers provided through the Local Enterprise Offices for companies with less than 10 employees.

The online application platform will remain open until 3.00pm, Wednesday, 27 May 2020. Information on the Covid 19 Online Retail Scheme and details on how to apply are available at www.enterprise-ireland.com/retail

“The Scheme has been developed in response to the challenges currently faced by the retail sector during the global crisis,” explained Stephen Hughes, head of Consumer Retail at Enterprise Ireland.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has put exceptional pressure on the sector in Ireland and the Online Retail Scheme funding will help support retailers who have found they will have to rapidly adapt their approach to meet an increase in consumer demand and enable online ordering and delivery to meet the new reality of home working and physical distancing restrictions.”

For further information on the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme, interested parties can email retail@enterprise-ireland.com.

Written by John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 30 April, 2020