Program to enable SMEs to do business online receives additional funding of € 14.2 million
Following a sharp increase in demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the online trading voucher system for SMEs will be extended.
The government announced an expansion of the Online trading voucher system following “unprecedented demand” from businesses seeking to connect quickly due to restrictions put in place following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The program will receive an additional € 14.2 million in funding after local business offices said they had received three years of applications in three months. This follows a previous expansion of the program in early April and brings the total budget to almost € 20 million in 2020.
Under this scheme, SMEs and start-ups with 10 employees or less can claim up to € 5,000 in two grants worth € 2,500 each. This can be used for training and advice to help businesses trade online and makes it easier to subscribe to low cost online retail platform solutions.
The additional funding allocated to the online trading voucher program includes an allocation of € 600,000 for Údarás na Gaeltachta to implement the program in the areas of Gaeltacht.
7,700 coupons this year
Speaking about the new funding, Business, Enterprise and Innovation Minister Heather Humphreys, TD said, “There has been unprecedented demand for the online voucher program since the outbreak. of Covid-19.
“Online sales have been a lifeline for many SMEs during Covid-19 and we have seen major success stories of small businesses increasing their sales during the pandemic due to their online platform. We want to make sure this continues. “
Communications, Climate Action and Environment Minister Richard Bruton, TD, added: “With this additional funding we will be able to deliver around 7,700 vouchers this year to small businesses, up from 1 200 last year.
“This funding will provide crucial support in these very difficult times. It will also ensure that businesses build capacity now, which will put them in a good position to take advantage of digital transformation in the future, as more and more consumers bring their businesses online.
At the end of April, the government also launched a € 2 million program to help retailers in Ireland with a physical store and more than 10 employees strengthen their digital presence.