Trading Online Voucher Scheme

Trading Online Voucher Scheme 2024

The Trading Online Voucher scheme funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) is aimed at established micro-businesses, including sole-traders, with little or no trading online capability, operating in sectors where the market has not already compelled them to develop this capability. The scheme offers a grant of up to €2,500 (subject to matched funding) to help micro-enterprises (10 or less employees) to develop their ecommerce capability, and in turn achieve the positive impacts of online trading. Under the scheme a qualifying business may apply for funding to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser.  

Second vouchers: Businesses which have already received one Trading Online Voucher can now apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required. A business cannot apply for a second voucher until they have submitted their final claim for their 1st approved voucher. A business cannot receive more than two Trading Online Vouchers, in the lifetime of its business. 

Please note: 

  • ONLY online COMPLETE applications submitted through our online application system will be reviewed.
  • We are no longer accepting PDF applications submitted by email or post.
  • Please make sure you know which Local Enterprise Office you should be applying to before making your online application.

Our catchment area for Cork North & West includes: 

  • Bandon, Bantry, Castletownbere, Charleville, Clonakilty, Dunmanway, Fermoy, Inishannon, Kanturk, Kinsale, Mallow, Mitchelstown, Newmarket, Rosscarbery, Skibbereen, The Beara Peninsula. 
  • If your business is outside of our catchment area please check where your Local Enterprise Office is based here. 

How to apply:

  • You MUST partake in an information webinar before making an application. *If you have not partaken in an information webinar within the past 9 months, then you Must partake in one again. 
  • Our Next Trading Online Voucher Information Webinar: Tuesday 11th June 2024 BOOK HERE!
  • Online applications: APPLY HERE
    (Note: It is mandatory that you partake in an information webinar BEFORE you complete your online application as during the webinar: the trainer explains how to complete the application and what to look out for). 

    Funding Limits: 

    • Under the scheme a qualifying business may apply for funding to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser.
    • You cannot apply for a second Trading Online Voucher until your first Trading Online Voucher approval is fully drawn down. 

    Eligible Businesses: 

    • Limited or no trading online presence.
    • 10 or less employees.
    • Turnover less than €2 million.
    • Applicant business must be trading for at least 6 months - applicant businesses must provide clear proof of trading for minimum of 6 months to their Local
      Enterprise Office at application stage. 
    • 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. 

    Ineligible projects include:

    • INELIGIBLE CATEGORIES OF BUSINESS:  New rules in 2021 saw categories of business excluded from the Trading Online Voucher Scheme as defined by their NACE code. A number of sectors are identified by their NACE codes in which exclusions apply in terms of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme. The NACE code for a business can be checked via CRO registration. 

    • Please see the list of NACE codes excluded from the scheme. If your business is within one of these categories, it is ineligible to apply for the scheme unfortunately.  

      Other Ineligible Categories

      • 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.

      Eligible Grant Expenditure:

      • IT consultation.
      • Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website.
      • Implementing online payments or booking systems.
      • Purchase of Internet related software.
      • Developing an app (or multiplatform webpages).
      • Development of a digital marketing strategy.
      • Implementing a digital marketing strategy.
      • Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage on-line trading activity.
      • Purchase of online advertising (this purchase cannot make up any more than 30% of
      • approved Voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase).
      • Professional photography costs (this purchase cannot make up any more than 80% of other
      • (excluding photography costs) approved voucher costs.

      Ineligible Grant Expenditure: 

      • Development of brochure websites*.
      • Purchase of non-internet related software.
      • Anything other than online trading related activity.

      *A brochure website is digital version of a printed brochure. They show the products or services your company provides. However, unlike an e-commerce website, they do not sell the product or service online or have an interactive booking function. With a brochure website, the goods and services are only displayed, so customers will have to contact the company to place an

      Terms and Conditions: 

      • 2022 Vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser.
      • The voucher claim period is 6 months from the date of approval.
      • Own labour is an ineligible expense.
      • Third party costs only will be considered.
      • 3 quotes must be provided for costs at application stage, otherwise an application may not be considered. 3 quotes are advised for your website development/e-commerce expenditure.