With the trend ever increasing towards online spending it is estimated that only 23% of small Irish businesses are engaged in any meaningful way in eCommerce sales. For businesses employing less than ten people this percentage could be even lower. It is now believed that, of online purchases made in Ireland, up to 70% of these are done in overseas markets.
There is now an urgency to ensure that businesses recognise that this is happening and that they are encouraged and supported to correctly respond to this digital reality. In order to support this goal, the National Digital Strategy aims to get more businesses trading online.
To this end, the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE) launched a Trading Online Voucher Scheme and teamed up with the Local Enterprise Offices (LEO) to deliver this to Irish business.
A limited number of vouchers are now available to eligible businesses.
The voucher is a financial incentive to small businesses to develop or enhance their ability to trade online.
Under the scheme a qualifying business may apply for funding to a maximum value of €2,500 or 90% of eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever
is the lesser.
Following approval of their application, a successful applicant can engage suppliers and upon completion of the work, submit a request for payment to the LEO in line with the terms and conditions of their voucher.
Information seminars will be made available online or by conference call to prospective applicants to support them in their application process and it will be a condition of applying for the vouchers that applicants participate in one of these seminars.
At each seminar attendees will be informed of the purpose of the scheme and how best to use and get value from the application of the voucher. The application process for the vouchers will be a competitive process.
The vouchers are targeted at businesses with the following profile:
• Limited or no e-commerce presence; • 10 or less employees; • Turnover less than €2m;
• Applicant business must be trading for at least 6 months;
• Business must be located in the area covered by the LEO to whom they make their application i.e. LEOs cannot accept applications from businesses located outside their jurisdiction.
Previous voucher recipients may apply for a second voucher
*applicant business must provide clear proof of trading for a minimum of 6 months to their Local Enterprise Office
Next deadline date for receipt of applications:
- Ongoing - it will take 5-10 working days for a client to receive an update on their application status. If an application is incomplete and does not have all the necessary documentation submitted by the deadline date, the client will be asked to submit the missing documentation. This will delay an application being reviewed.
Next Trading Online Voucher Information Seminars:
- Due to the current situation where face to face seminars are not taking place, we are organising Trading Online Voucher webinars.
- For Cork North & West Clients: Next available webinar for LEO Cork North & West Clients ONLY: 31 Aug 2020 - BOOK HERE
How to apply: Apply at the link to the Right
Terms and Conditions
- Vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 90% eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser
- The voucher claim period is 4 months from the date of approval *as of 8th June 2020 - 30th September 2020.
- Own labour is an ineligible expense
- Third party costs only will be considered
- All third party/supplier invoices must contain proper business details (e.g. Tax and Business Registration details)
- Three Quotes must be provided for costs at application stage, otherwise application will not be considered
The trading on-line voucher scheme is an initiative of the National Digital Strategy, developed and funded by the Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources on behalf of Government. It is being administered by the Local Enterprise Offices.
Applications for assistance for expenditure incurred prior to grant approval are ineligible. The Local Enterprise Office reserves the right to refuse any application and the right to terminate this grant scheme at any time without notice. The approval of applications and the payment of all monies are dependent on the availability of resources under this scheme from the Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources. Applicants are advised to check availability of resources with Local Enterprise Office prior to applying. All applicants approved must draw down in full within three months of the date of offer, or in exceptional circumstances within four months (i.e. three months plus one month extension) as may be agreed between LEO and company. Failure to draw down all or any portion may result in automatic de-committal without notice, i.e. loss of voucher. The Local Enterprise Office may liaise/consult other agencies/local development programmes in relation to this proposal while respecting project confidentiality. Any false or misleading statement or the withholding of essential information from Local Enterprise Office (as determined by Local Enterprise Office) will result in cancellation of any grant approved under this scheme.
PLEASE NOTE: The Local Enterprise Office is not responsible for any disputes between the applicant and 3rd party suppliers. Therefore we recommend that you adhere to best business practice and get three quotes as well as carry out due diligence before selecting a supplier. Disclaimer – For the avoidance of doubt it is understood and accepted that it is the applicant companies who are selecting and entering into a contract with third parties. The State and its agents (including Local Enterprise Office(s), Enterprise Ireland or any Government Department) does not accept any liability whatsoever in respect of any deficit in or consequences arising from products or services procured by or provided to companies under this scheme. In submitting your application under this scheme you are confirming that you understand and accept this disclaimer.
What are the eligibility criteria?
The vouchers are targeted at businesses with the following profile:
- Limited Online Trading presence
- Less than 10 employees
- Turnover less than €2m
- Applicant business must be trading for at least 12 months
- Business must be located in the area covered by this phase of the scheme i.e. within the remit of the participating LEOs.
What are ineligible projects for this scheme?
Companies with charitable status, commercial semi-state companies, trade associations and company representation bodies such as Chambers of Commerce are not eligible to participate in the scheme
- “Not for profit” and social entrepreneurship applicants unless they operate in a commercial domain
- Professional services specialising in IT type services who are already capable of trading online using existing in-house systems
- Conferences and Seminars
- Projects which are contrary to public policy
- Duplication of support for projects which would be eligible for assistance from other State Agencies of EU funded Operational Programmes
- Projects with employees in excess of 10 people
- Projects deemed to be capable of proceeding in any event without scheme assistance i.e. deadweight
- Projects essentially comprising importation and distribution.