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Trading Online Voucher Scheme

Trading Online Voucher Scheme: UPDATE 12/10/2020

The COVID 19 Trading Online Voucher scheme is now open for applications.



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 therefore a need to encourage small Irish businesses to develop their digital presence to avoid missing significant commercial opportunities. To this end, the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE) has launched an Trading Online Voucher Scheme and has teamed up with with Local Enterprise Offices to deliver this Scheme to Irish businesses at local level.

Increased Assistance under the Scheme from April 7th to September 30th 2020.

In light of the current economic conditions, changes have been made to the Scheme to make it more attractive and helpful to Irish businesses.

  • The requirement for co-funding in respect of applications received after 7 April 2020 is reduced from 50% to 10% - the TOV can now cover up to 90% of an applicant's ex-VAT costs, to a maximum of €2,500
  • The introduction of a second voucher of up to €2,500 for businesses that have already availed of a voucher under the Scheme but who find themselves needing to upgrade their existing e-commerce capability. The second voucher would also have a requirement for co-funding of 10%.
  • The drawdown of payments in respect of new vouchers in two instalments rather than in one instalment as is presently the case.
  • Subscriptions to low cost online retail platform solutions, are eligible expenditure under the scheme - this will allow applicants to quickly establish a retailing presence online.

The Trading Online 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 up to 90% of eligible expenditure (net of VAT).

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 or proof that the supplier is a registered business in the territory in which the supplier is located

Eligible Projects

  • The vouchers are targeted at businesses with the following profile:
  • Limited Online Trading 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 this phase of the scheme i.e. within the remit of the participating LEOs.

Ineligible Projects

  • 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;
  • 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.

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);
  • Development of a digital marketing strategy;
  • Implementing a digital marketing strategy;
  • Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an on-line 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

Contact us for an application form.