April 5th 2017 is deadline day for applications for the Trading Online Voucher (TOV)scheme which was rolled out by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in Cork last year.
The TOV scheme offers small businesses and retailers the opportunity to apply for match funding to the value of €2,500 to develop and improve their online trading presence.
Online spending in Ireland is growing at a rate of 16% per annum and the digital economy in Ireland set to grow to €21 billion by 2020. Today Irish consumers spend around €700,000 per hour, 24 hours a day online. Yet only 23% of Irish SMEs are currently trading online. This scheme offers small businesses a chance to get financial support and access to expertise they need to develop and engage online customers.
The TOVs are available to eligible SMEs in the region and can be used for;
- The development or upgrade of an e-commerce website such as implementing online payments or booking systems;
- Purchase of Internet related software;
- Online advertising;
- Development of an app;
- Implementation of a digital marketing strategy;
- Consultation with ICT experts for early stage adopters of online strategy;
- Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an online trading activity;
The scheme is open to businesses that are trading for over 12 months, have a limited online trading presence, less than 10 employees and a turnover less than €2 million.
Speaking about the opportunity afforded by the TOV scheme, Sean O’Sullivan, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office South Cork, said “International research shows that SMEs who adopt online trading grow twice as fast and export twice as much as their offline competitors. Trading online offers a major opportunity to Cork retailers and SMEs, at a time when growth in these sectors is so imperative; and so we’re encouraging SMEs from all sectors to apply for their Trading Online Vouchers before the closing date of April 5th 2017 .
He continued “Our role as Local Enterprise Offices is to assist and support the micro-business community. This scheme is just one of the many initiatives offered, and one which so many can benefit from.”
The Trading Online Voucher Programme is supported by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources through the National Digital Strategy.
- Vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser;
- 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).
- It is mandatory for applicants to attend a TOV information seminar prior to submitting an application
- Read the terms and conditions;
- Complete and sign application form and return to Local Enterprise Office South Cork;
- Enclose copies of three quotations in respect of each proposed element of work.
For more information or to apply for the Trading Online Voucher Programme before April 5th 2017 . call Bridin on (021) 4975281, email firstname.lastname@example.org