Deadline day for Online Trading Voucher applications is Wednesday, February 25th

OTV Scheme

Wednesday, February 25th is deadline day for applications for the Online Trading Voucher (OTV)scheme which was rolled out by the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) in Cork this summer.

The OTV 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.

With digital trade in Ireland growing at a rate of 16% per annum and the digital economy in Ireland set to grow to €21 billion by 2017; yet only 23% of Irish SMEs currently trading online, the scheme offers small businesses a huge opportunity to develop and engage in the hugely powerful market of online sales.

The OTVs 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;
  • Photography.

Over €178,000 worth of OTVs have been awarded to Cork businesses in recent months. 

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 OTV 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 Online Trading Vouchers before the closing date of February 25th.

He continued “Our role as Local Enterprise Offices is to assist and support the micro-business community and this scheme is just one of the many initiatives offered, and one which so many can benefit from.”

The Online Trading Voucher Programme is supported by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources through the National Digital Strategy which aims to get a further 2,000 businesses trading online by the end of 2015.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% eligible expenditure (inclusive 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).

Voucher Application

  • Read the terms and conditions;
  • Complete and sign application form 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 Online Trading Voucher Programme before Wednesday 25th February call Ciara on (021) 4975281, email ciara.fitzgerald@leo.corkcoco.ie

 

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