Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English launched a new round of the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme. It was announced that €5 million will be made available to help Irish businesses to upgrade their websites and improve their competitiveness in online retail.
The COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme opens for applications today, Tuesday 4th May 2021 and closes at 12pm noon on Tuesday, 25th May 2021. Successful applicants will receive a grant ranging from €10,000 to a maximum of €40,000 – covering up to 80% of project costs.
Enterprise Ireland will be administering the Scheme and the main targets for this scheme Irish-based retailers with a physical store and a pre-existing online presence. 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.
The minister stated that “… I am determined to support the ambition to expand beyond the physical shop and this Scheme offers retailers the vital financial support to do just that. It is important for the future of retail here that in-store shopping is complemented by an improved online offering so that innovative local businesses can secure a greater share of the overall online retail spend by Irish consumers.”
Stephen Creaner, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland, said: “It is important that eligible retailers applying for the Scheme plan appropriately and examine their current and potential online presence in order to put forward strong business cases. “
The Scheme aims to continue to address the urgent need for retail companies to achieve a step change in online capability to achieve business continuity, and to lay foundations for future recovery and growth.
Minister English concluded, “To date, some 370 companies have received funding under the Online Retail Scheme to the value of €12.8 million. I and my colleagues across Government will continue to keep the range of business support measures under review as the country moves towards a post pandemic, jobs-led economic recovery, including new initiatives to support the retail sector.”