Further Expansion of Trading Online Scheme for Fingal’s Businesses Announced as Part of the Government’s Ongoing COVID-19 Response

Further Expansion of Trading Online Scheme for Fingal’s Businesses Announced as Part of the Government’s Ongoing COVID-19 Response

Due to unprecedented demand for Trading Online Vouchers since COVID-19; with over 400 applications received in 3 months just in Fingal alone, the national total budget for the TOV Scheme has now increased by almost 1000% from €2m to €20m.

The Scheme is being expanded by €14.2m after the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) received 3 years’ worth of applications in 3 months following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ireland. Following a previous expansion of the Scheme in early April, total additional funding for the Scheme is now almost €20m in 2020.

Under the Scheme, small businesses can claim up to €5,000 in two grants worth €2,500 each. The Scheme also facilitates subscriptions to low-cost online retailing platform solutions to quickly establish a retailing presence online.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD said:

“There has been unprecedented demand for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme since the outbreak of COVID-19

“To put this into perspective, in 2019, there were 1,218 applications for the Scheme; this year, between mid-March and early-June alone, there were 3,962, representing three years’ worth of applications in less than three months.

“The Scheme is an essential part of our COVID-19 business supports for small businesses, and it is vital that we continue to make it available for enterprises to meet the ongoing trading challenges.

“Thousands of small businesses across the country have already benefitted from funding under the scheme. The additional funding which we are announcing today will mean that total funding for the scheme has been increased by almost 1000%.”

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton TD said:

“Now more than ever enterprises are relying on their online capabilities to interact with their customers. With this additional funding we will be able to provide approximately 7,700 vouchers this year to small businesses, compared to 1,200 last year. This funding will provide crucial support in these very challenging times. It will also ensure that enterprises are building the capacity now which will see them well positioned to take advantage of the digital transformation into the future, as more and more consumers take their business online.”

Minister Humphreys added: “The ability to trade online has become more and more valuable as we move through the phases of re-opening the economy, particularly as we face into a period of reduced capacity on shop floors.

“A quality online presence compliments your existing bricks and mortar business and allows you to advertise and trade to a much wider customer base. Online sales have been a lifeline to many SMEs during COVID19 and we have seen major success stories of small businesses actually increasing their sales during the pandemic due to their online platform. We want to make sure that continues.

“Businesses and companies that remain offline are missing out, not only on the opportunity to pivot their business model in tackling the current challenges, but also in being part of Ireland’s future digital economy.”

Chair of the LEO Network and Head of Enterprise in Fingal, Oisín Geoghegan concluded: “The additional funding for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme is welcomed by the network of 31 Local Enterprise Offices in local authorities across the country

Since March, nearly 4,000 businesses nationwide have applied for a Trading Online Voucher through their Local Enterprise Office to help them get online and do more business online

For further information on the TOV scheme, and a comprehensive list of the latest information and supports available to Fingal businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the LEO Fingal website http://www.localenterprise.ie/Fingal and sign up to the “Fingal Enterprise News” ezine to receive weekly updates straight to your inbox.