Trading Online Vouchers Scheme

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Trading Online Voucher Scheme

The current Trading Online Voucher scheme was launched in April 2020 in response to COVID 19.

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme has seen unprecedented levels of demand in its first phase.

We are pleased to advise that the second phase of the Trading Online Voucher Scheme is now open for applications.

We would encourage you to submit your completed application form to  Louth Local Enterprise Office without delay.

Due to extremely high volumes of applications, we may not be able to process your application within our normal turnaround times

Scheme Overview

Trading Online Voucher Scheme – up to €2,500 grant available

Grow your business with help from this Government grant scheme, designed to assist small businesses. It offers financial assistance of up to €2,500 along with training and advice to help your business trade online.  Participating in this scheme can make the process of trading online much easier for you.

Making informed decisions is vital for all business, so the free help and training provided by your local enterprise office puts you in a position to decide what is best for your business.

Cutting the cost of developing your online trading capacity by up to 90% can make the investment very affordable for many small businesses out there. 

Information sessions cover various topics, including developing a website, digital marketing, social media for business and search engine optimisation. The information provided is impartial and will help you decide on what trading online options, are right for your business.     

Over 2,000 businesses, just like yours, have already benefitted from the scheme. Don’t get left behind. Your Local Enterprise Office can help and support you throughout the process. Voucher numbers are limited so contact us today for more information and application details.

Businesses that participated in the scheme reported that, on average they saw their sales increase by 20%, with an 80% jump in sales leads and 3 in 5 exporting for the first time.  

For many businesses, the question is not whether to trade online, it’s how to start.  At least 2,000 small businesses have found answers to that question and a helping hand to take that step through the Trading Online Voucher Scheme. Some of them are your competitors.

 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 90% of eligible expenditure (net of VAT)
  • Voucher approval must be gained prior to incurring any expense
  • 'Own Labour' is not an eligible expense
  • Only 'third-party' costs will be considered
  • All 'third party'/supplier Invoices must contain comprehensive business details, incl. Tax & Business registration information

Eligible Projects

  • Small businesses based in Co. Louth 
  • Small businesses who employ less than 10 people
  • Small businesses with an annual turnover of less than €2m
  • Small businesses must be registered and trading for at least 6 months
  • Businesses that have already availed of a voucher under the Scheme but who find themselves needing to upgrade their existing e-commerce capability may apply.

Ineligible Projects

  • Companies with charitable status
  • Commercial semi-state companies
  • 'Not for profit' organisations
  • Trade associations
  • Business / company representation bodies, e.g., Chambers of Commerce
  • Professional service businesses, specialising in I.T.-related activities, who are already capable of trading online using existing in-house systems
  • Conferences & Seminars
  • Projects contrary to Public Policy
  • Projects which are already eligible for assistance from other State Agencies / EU funded Operational Programmes which may result in duplication of support
  • Projects with in excess of 10 employees
  • Projects deemed to be capable of proceeding without the requirement of assistance from the Online Trading Vouchers Scheme
  • Projects essentially deemed to be comprising importation and/or distribution

What the Vouchers can be used for

  • IT consultation
  • Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website
  • Implementation of online payments or booking systems
  • Purchase of internet-related software
  • Purchase of online advertising ( this purchase cannot make up more than 30% of approved Voucher costs & can only be drawn down in one payment phase )
  • Developing an app or multi-platform webpages
  • Implementing a digital marketing strategy, i.e., Social Media Marketing
  • Consultation with ICT experts for early stage adopters of online strategy
  • Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an online trading activity

What the Vouchers cannot be used for

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

Guidelines:

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment have created this useful set of Guidelines to help you complete your application

Client must attend pre-voucher application information seminar. (details can be found on the booking section of our website here, or clients can attend national TOV seminars)

Please note the drawdown time allowed to recipients will be 4 months.

An evaluation committee will assess the applications and make recommendations for approval.

Evaluation:

Competitive process will be put in place to assist with the selections process. Selection of successful applications will be based on the following criteria:

  • Project Sutability/ Eligibility for Scheme (15)
  • Export Potential - where the voucher will boost international/ cross order sales (15)
  • Job Creation Potential - will any additional jobs be created in the long term as a result of the voucher (20)
  • Online sales potential/ Financial Stability - What is the increase in sales potential as a result of the voucher (30)
  • Quality of the ICT proposal/ Value Added Potential (20)
  • How will the project aid the business during the COVID 19 Pandemic (20)

Please note the offer of Trading Online Vouchers is subject to the availability of funding.

How to apply

Apply using the Trading Online Voucher click here download Word Form or download PDF Form email to TradingOnline@leo.louthcoco.ie

In order to get approval you must attend a 'Trading Online Workshop'. If you are applying for a second voucher you must also attend if it has been more than 9 months since your last course. We recommend taking part before you submit your application in order to speed up the process.

 

Trading Online Workshops

Trading Online Workshops are available in the North East Region every two weeks. To check available 'Trading Online Workshop' from Louth LEO, please click here

To check available ‘Trading Online Workshops’ with Monaghan LEO please click here

To check available ‘Trading Online Workshops’ with Cavan LEO please click here

 It may possible to attend a webinar or training session hosted by another region if they have space. Nationwide courses can be viewed here

*The enhanced Trading Online Voucher Scheme applies to all completed applications received from the 7th April up to 30th September 2020* 

To learn more about what is new in the Trading Online Voucher Scheme click here.

 

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