What is the TOV and what is it used for?


The TOV is a financial incentive to help small businesses to develop or grow their online trading presence. The grant will enable companies to adapt to trading online either by developing a new e-commerce website or upgrading an existing one in order to boost sales and reach new markets.

But while anyone who meets the recommended criteria can apply for the TOV, it is a competitive scheme and eligibility does not guarantee that a grant will be approved.

What are the eligibility criteria?

  • Applicants should have no e-commerce presence, or a very limited one
  • There should be no more than 10 employees in the business (or full-time equivalents)
  • The business turnover must be less than €2m
  • Applicant businesses must have been trading for at least 6 months
  • Interested businesses must be located in the area covered by the LEO to whom they make their application – so LEOs cannot accept applications from businesses located outside their jurisdiction
  • Other eligibility criteria may apply, and approval is at the discretion of the Local Enterprise Office.

How much can I get?

The TOV can provide up to €2,500 with co-funding of 10% from your business. Ordinarily this contribution was 50% but it was reduced to 10% to assist businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic and this rate will be available until September 2020.

If I have already had a TOV, can I apply for another one?

Yes. It is possible to apply for a second TOV if, for example, upgrades are necessary. But approval is not guaranteed and will be at the discretion of the LEO.

What do I have to do in order to apply for a TOV?

Applying for a TOV is easy - just visit the LEO website for full details and an application form. Then email your LEO with any specific queries and book your place on the online TOV webinar.

Anyone interested in applying for a TOV, must attend the relevant webinar prior to application as this covers various important topics, including information on developing a website, digital marketing, social media for business and search engine optimisation (SEO). All of the information provided in this webinar is impartial and will help you decide on what trading online options are the best for your individual business.

After attending the webinar, applicants must complete an application form, which will be reviewed, scored, and then assessed by the LEO. Then if approved, you will receive a letter of offer detailing your award and its terms and conditions.

Can my application be backdated?

No, the voucher is approved from the date of the letter of offer and funds can only be drawn down from that date.

How long do I have to drawdown funds?

If your application has been successful, you will have 4 months from the date of approval to use the allocated funds.

What can I use the TOV for?

TOV funding can be used towards adding payment facilities or booking systems to your website or developing new apps for your customers. It can also be used for IT consultation, purchase of Internet related software, training development to establish and manage an online trading activity, to advertise online and several other areas relating to developing and widening your online presence.

Further details can be found on the LEO website at this link Trading-Online-Voucher-Scheme

Will I get the funds upfront?

No, the TOV voucher will not be paid upfront. Instead, the successful applicant should pay their supplier and then use the supplier invoice and receipts for each section of work which is carried out. Then they must present this paperwork, along with evidence of tax compliance and bank statements, as proof of payment when submitting a claim for the voucher.

Can I choose my supplier?

Yes, you can choose your own supplier, but you must get quotes from three different providers and produce evidence of these with your application.

Can I use it for social media?

Yes, you can use a portion of your TOV fund to develop a digital marketing strategy and this covers social media marketing and Search Engine Optimisation.

Can I use it for advertising?

Yes, however the purchase of online advertising cannot make up more than 30% of other approved Voucher costs (excluding online advertising costs)

 

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