Trading Online Voucher Scheme

Trading Online Voucher Scheme 2021

TOV updated image 2017The Trading Online Voucher scheme funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment (DCCAE) is aimed at established small 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 voucher is a financial incentive to small businesses to develop or enhance their ability to trade online.

The scheme offers skills training, mentoring and a grant of up to €2,500 (subject to match funding) to help micro-enterprises (10 or less employees) to develop their e-commerce capability, and in turn reap the positive enterprise impacts of online trading.

A limited number of vouchers are now available to eligible businesses. 

Important notice: 

  • 2021 SCHEME: From 1st January 2021, vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser.  Apply here from 1st Jan 2021 : APPLY HERE

Second vouchers: 

While applications for second vouchers are permitted we will be prioritising the evaluation of first time applications to allow as many as possible, of our clients, to get online. Applications for second vouchers will be dealt with in turn. A business cannot apply for a second voucher until they have submitted their final claim for their 1st approved voucher.

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:

  • Remember you MUST partake in an information webinar before making an application. *If you have not partaken in an information webinar or seminar within the past 9 months, then you Must partake in one again. 
  • From the 1st of January 2021, you may apply for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme at a rate of a 50% grant: Apply Here

  • Due to volumes and Christmas break, it may take up to 4-6 weeks for a client to receive an update on their application status, once it is complete and submitted through our online application system. If an application is incomplete and does not have all the necessary documentation submitted, the client will be asked to submit the missing documentation. This will delay an application being reviewed by our evaluation committee. 

Next Trading Online Voucher Information Webinar:

  • Please note that our webinars are ONLY open to clients within the Cork North & West catchment areas.
  • Please contact your own LEO if you are not within the Cork North & West catchment area. 
  • Thursday 11th February 2021 - BOOK HERE

    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.
    • Previous voucher recipients may now apply for a second voucher, but must partake in an information webinar if they have not partaken in one within the past 9 months. 
    • You cannot apply for a second Trading Online Voucher until your first Trading Online Voucher approval is fully drawn down. 

    Who is eligible? The vouchers are targeted at businesses with the following profile: 

    • Limited or no e-commerce presence
    • 10 or less employees
    • Turnover less than €2 million
    • Must be trading for a minimum of 6 months (you must demonstrate that you have been trading with 6 months if you do not have a CRO number)
    • Businesses 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 catchment area. If this happens you will be advised to contact your own LEO directly and to make a new application there. 
    • Businesses must provide clear proof of trading for a minimum of 6 months to their LEO at application stage, if you do NOT have a CRO number.  

    Ineligible projects include:

    • Companies with charitable status, commercial semi-state companies, trade associations and company representation bodies 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
    • Company representation bodies such as Chambers of Commerce

    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 multi-platform web pages)
    • Development of a digital marketing strategy
    • Implementing a digital marketing strategy
    • Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an online trading activity
    • Subscriptions (excluding transaction costs) to low cost online retail platform solutions, which would allow applicants to quickly establish a retailing presence online
    • Purchase of online advertising (this purchase cannot make up any more than 30% of all other approved Voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase). Online advertising can be part of an overall project but an application with online advertising expenditure on its own is ineligible. 
    • Professional photography & videography costs (these purchases cannot make up any more than 80% of other (excluding photography & videography costs) approved voucher costs. Photography & Videography can be part of an overall project but an application with photography & videography expenditure on their own is ineligible. 
    • The trading online voucher is NOT an online advertising grant, photography grant or videography grant. Therefore a business cannot receive approval for online advertising, photography and videography costs alone. There must be e-commerce website development expenditure included in an application with online advertising, photography and videography expenditure.

    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 order.

    Training

    • It is a requirement of this scheme that prospective applicants participate in an information session i.e. webinar. Applicants for a second voucher are required to participate in an information session if they have not attended an information session in the last 9 months.

    Terms and Conditions: 

    • From 1st January 2021, vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser.
    • Only Complete Applications on our online system, submitted prior to 5pm on 31st December 2020 will be accepted under the 90% funding scheme.
    • Voucher approval must be gained prior to incurring any expense
    • The voucher claim period is 4 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. However for additional suppliers including: photography, SEO, digital marketing etc 1 quote will be accepted. 

    Grant Funding Terms:

    • Applicants, on successful completion of their projects, may be requested for permission to allow reference be made to them in case study materials. These will be used to promote the voucher scheme more widely.
    • Successful applicants will receive a letter of offer detailing the amount approved once they have been approved. 
    • Grants (from 1st January 2021) will cover 50% of eligible costs subject to a maximum grant/voucher of up to €2,500 exclusive of VAT to any one client.
    • Payment will be made directly to the client on completion of the work and subject to the following being provided satisfactorily:
        • Declaration, completed and signed by supplier, briefly detailing the works carried out and indicating they have been completed and fully paid for. This should be submitted by supplier directly to Local Enterprise Office (LEO)
        • Applicant submits: a declaration of project completion,  copy of Company Registration Office (CRO) registration and/or proof of trading for at least 6 months, evidence of up to date tax clearance compliance,  the original invoice(s) from the supplier(s) for work undertaken with evidence of supplier details e.g. Company Registration Office (CRO) details, or VAT details or evidence of tax compliance, or proof that the supplier is a registered business in the territory in which the supplier is located, Bank statement(s) showing proof of payment from the client company to supplier(s), Supplier receipts for each component of work carried out. All work must be completed and paid for prior to claim.  Payments will only be made in relation to approved expenses which form part of this application form.