Trading Online Vouchers
Grants up to €2,500 available to help small Irish companies enhance their trading online presence
The Trading Online Voucher Scheme has been developed as a partnership between the Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland and the Local Enterprise Office network.
Irish consumers spend around €700,000 each hour, 24 hours a day, online. With less than one in four Irish SME’s trading online, up to 70% of this currently goes overseas. The Trading Online Voucher Scheme is a financial incentive for small businesses to develop or enhance their ability to trade online. Under the scheme a qualifying business may apply for matched funding to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser. Training, mentoring and networking support is also provided by the Local Enterprise offices.
The vouchers are targeted at businesses with a limited online presence that have a turnover of less than €2 million and have less than 10 employees. The vouchers can be used for a range of services e.g. IT consultation, the development of an e-commerce website, implementation of online payments if booking systems and the purchase of internet related software. They do not cover the development of brochure websites or non-online trading related activity. Third party costs only will be considered and voucher approval must be gained prior to incurring any expense.
The scheme aims to get 2,000 more small Irish traditional companies trading online by the end of 2015. To date over 1,000 vouchers have already been issued. A survey of 225 of these companies has shown a large number of benefits including:
- Providing the business with a competitive advantage
- 85% experienced an increase in customer inquires
- 21% increase in sales on average
- 40% had generated interest from new markets
- 60% said the new business was additional and did not displace existing sales
- A 10% gain in productivity
- Business is twice as likely to export as a result
- 71% expected to take on new staff to cope with new business, creating an average of 1.4 jobs per business
Click here to download the application form.
Case Study: Glebe House B&B
Glebe House is a country style B&B run by Linda Regan,located deep in the heart of beautiful Longford in the village of Tashinny. It is a beautiful old Georgian rectory built in 1825 and the house interior is tastefully furnished with many period pieces throughout, whilst providing guests with all the modern day comforts one would expect.
Linda Regan heard about the Trading Online Vouchers and seen this as a way to expand her business by showcasing all that Glebe House has to offer holiday makers on longer stay vacations. Linda went about setting up an entire new eCommerce website from scratch and now has the business marketed to its best potential. The tasteful website provides holiday makers with beautiful pictures of the B&B and surrounding countryside and a full list of local attractions and activities including Glebe House’s own bicycle hire service. The online booking system allows for quick and easy booking and will no doubt increase the number of visitors to Glebe House B&B.
Click here to view Glebe House B&B’s new website.