Trading Online Vouchers

TRADING ONLINE VOUCHER

Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) Trading Online Voucher

VERY IMPORTANT:  

BEFORE YOU PROCEED, PLEASE GO TO THE BELOW LINK  'INELIGIBLE PROJECTS' TO CHECK TO SEE IF YOUR BUSINESS IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE TRADING ONLINE VOUCHER. IF YOUR BUSINESS TYPE IS ON THIS LIST, THEN YOU CANNOT APPLY. LEO ROSCOMMON HAS NO DISCRETION ON THE RULES. THESE RULES ARE SET BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENTERPRISE, TRADE & EMPLOYMENT.

LINK: INELIGIBLE PROJECTS

The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) Trading Online Voucher is a scheme, designed to assist small and microenterprises (10 or less employees) by offering financial assistance of up to €2,500 towards training and advice to help businesses trade online.  The Trading Online Voucher scheme is administered by the LEOs on behalf of the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment as part of the national digital strategy. The support is available to cover 50% of the costs, up to a maximum of €2,500.

Participating in this scheme can make the process of trading online much easier for businesses. See: localenterprise.ie/Discover-Business-Supports

Trading Online Vouchers can be used for:

  • development or upgrade of an e-commerce website, such as implementing online payments or booking systems
  • purchase of internet related software - online advertising (subject to limits)
  • development of an app
  • development and/or implementation of a digital marketing strategy
  • consultation with ICT experts
  • training and support to develop and manage your online trading activity and subscriptions to low cost online retail platform solutions,

The vouchers are targeted at businesses with the following profile:

  • Limited or no e-commerce presence;
  • 10 or less employees;
  • Turnover less than €2m;
  • Applicant business must be trading for at least 6 Months;
  • Business must be located in the area covered by the LEO to whom they make their application i.e. LEOs cannot accept applications from businesses located outside their jurisdiction.
  • Drawdown (payment) of Voucher (completion & payment of website project & submission of drawdown documentation to LEO Roscommon) is now 6 months.   

COVID TOV

New Covid-19 Trading Online Voucher Scheme 

In response to Covid-19, the Irish Government announced changes to the Trading Online Vouchers to help small Irish businesses. Funding available under this Scheme has now increased from €2.3 million to €5.6 million. 
The following changes will also apply to the Scheme: 
  • Business who have availed of a Voucher under the original Scheme can also apply for a second voucher up to €2500, if they find themselves needing to upgrade their existing ecommerce capability.
  •  The timeline for completion of the website work and payment drawdown is now 6 months.
  • Subscriptions to low-cost online retail platform solutions are eligible under the Scheme, allowing quick establishment of an online retailing presence

What is an Online Trading Voucher?

Online Trading Vouchers are grants of up to €2500* for small businesses to develop or enhance their ability to trade online. Online Information Seminars or Conference Calls are included in the Scheme to help your business get the maximum benefit when deciding how best to use their Voucher.   

*maximum value of €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure, whichever is the lesser (exclusive of VAT)

Why Should Your Business Be Trading Online?

Consumer trends towards online spending is nothing new, however Covid-19, coupled with the restrictions on retail, have led many more people buying online. Despite this, small Irish businesses appear reluctant to embrace online trading, with online only 23% engaged in eCommerce sales. For micro-businesses, this percentage could be even lower.

When you consider that up to 70% of Irish consumers' online purchases are made to overseas businesses, it is clear that the Irish economy and Irish businesses are losing out. In other words, if Irish consumers are spending online, Irish businesses need to be selling online. 

Online Trading Vouchers are here to support Irish small businesses to start or improve in selling online, with Local Enterprise Office Roscommon here to help. 

How Does the Online Trading Voucher Scheme Work?

Under the Scheme, small businesses apply for funding. The application process is competitive, with a limited number of vouchers available.

Successful applicants then engage suppliers and upon completion of the work, submit a request for payment to LEO Roscommon (terms and conditions will apply)

Information seminars, available online or by conference call, support applicants and applicants MUST one of these seminars. Information seminars help businesses on how best to use their Voucher for maximum impact.

What are ineligible projects for this scheme?

  • Companies with charitable status, commercial semi-state companies, trade associations and company representation bodies such as Chambers of Commerce are not eligible to participate in the scheme;
  • “Not for profit” and social entrepreneurship applicants unless they operate in a commercial domain
  • Professional services specialising in IT type services who are already capable of trading online using existing in-house systems.
  • Companies engaged in the production, operation and sale of any CBD Hemp products such as food supplements (with CBD oil or hemp oil as ingredients), Hemp food products (seeds, chocolate bars, granola etc) and Cosmetic Products (skincare, shampoo etc).
  • Conferences and Seminars;
  • Projects which are contrary to public policy;
  • Duplication of support for projects which would be eligible for assistance from other State Agencies of EU funded Operational Programmes;
  • Projects with employees in excess of 10 people;
  • Projects deemed to be capable of proceeding in any event without scheme assistance i.e. deadweight;
  • Projects essentially comprising importation and distribution.
  • Voucher approval must be gained prior to incurring any expense
  • Own labour is not an eligible expense (Third party costs only will be considered)
  • All third party/supplier invoices must contain proper business details (e.g. Tax and Business Registration details).
  • Check here to see if your business is eligible.

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme is a competitive process, so eligibility does not guarantee approval.

What the vouchers can be used for:

  • IT consultation
  • Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website
  • Implementing online payments or booking systems
  • Purchase of internet related software
  • Purchase of online advertising (this purchase cannot make up any more than 30% of approved Voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase)
  • Developing an app (or multiplatform 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 (i.e websites with no e-commerce facility)
  • Purchase of non-internet related software
  • Anything other than online trading related activity

Voucher approval must be gained prior to incurring any expenditure and third-party costs only will be considered.

How to Apply

  1. All applicants must complete a webinar to qualify for the support and provide evidence that this was completed as part of their application to progress for evaluation for this support. Please ensure your business qualifies for this support under the qualifying criteria in advance of attending the webinar.
  2. Applicants must obtain three quotes from three different suppliers. It is important that applicants for this support are aware that it is not the policy of the LEO network to endorse or approve in any way any individual providers of service or work required for completion of trading online voucher projects. Applicants should beware of any false claims of such an endorsement and carry out their own due diligence of suppliers and quality and value for money of their work and services.

How Can My Business Apply for an Online Trading Voucher?

Contact Jeremy Cullen at LEO Roscommon: Tel: 09066 26263 or Email: jeremy.cullen@leo.roscommoncoco.ie

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