Trading Online Vouchers Scheme

Scheme Overview

Even though there is currently an increasing trend in online spending, it is estimated that only 23% of small Irish businesses use e-commerce in any meaningful way; and that of all the online purchases made in Ireland, 70% are related to purchases from overseas markets.

There is now a need to encourage small Irish businesses to develop their digital presence to avoid missing significant commercial opportunities. In order to support this goal, the National Digital Strategy aims to get an additional 2,000 businesses trading online by the end of 2015. To this end, the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) has launched an Online Trading Voucher Scheme and has teamed up with with Local Enterprise Offices to deliver this Scheme to Irish businesses at local level.

The Online Trading Voucher Scheme offers small businesses the opportunity to develop their website or digital marketing strategy by availing of vouchers of up to €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure (net of VAT).

Eligibility Criteria

  • Vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% 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. Monaghan who have a limited online trading presence
  • 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 12 months

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

How to apply

Digital Voucher Application Form available to download here - please return to your Local Enterprise Office.

Digital Voucher Brochure available here.New Online Trading Voucher

 

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