Ronan Cleary - Digital Advisor

While the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a wave of extraordinary challenges and uncertainty to Irish businesses, Local Enterprise Office Waterford is providing a wide range of business services to SMEs.  Free HR, digital and finance advisory clinics are available to any local business, regardless of its scale or sector,which needs assistance in accessing support.

Ronan Cleary of Eagle Dreams Digital Media has mentored with Local Enterprise Office Waterford since 2010.  As a digital mentor, Ronan works closely with businesses, in all sectors, in guiding them through the maze of the digital world to help them grow their businesses. Sometimes something very simple or a different digital approach can have a dramatic and positive effect on their business.

More recently, Ronan has been working with clients, on a virtual and confidential basis, to advise of digital means to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.

“The digital world is really only an extension of the real world. Through this Covid-19 crisis we have seen how important digital tools are to keep us connected with family, friends, colleagues and of course, customers. Since this crisis began, the innovation of businesses to use new digital tools has been amazing. These tools are there for everyone to benefit from, the important thing is how we use them.”

Online shopping has now become an option for customers who would never have considered it before this crisis.  An online presence and a digital footprint are now more important than ever. The Local Enterprise Office provides many supports for businesses intending to enter the digital realm. The Trading Online Voucher is available to businesses to develop an ecommerce website.  The TOV takes the form of matched funding where you can now claim up to 90% (maximum amount payable €2,500) of qualifying spend on developing an ecommerce website for your business. If your business has availed of a Trading Online Voucher, you can now reapply for a second voucher to upgrade your site.

Ronan explains that when this current crisis is over there will be a new normal.  “We are beginning to see the start of a trend where consumers’ buying habits are beginning to change dramatically.  Due to the closure of all non-essential bricks-and-mortar stores and restrictions in movement, consumers are turning to online.  We are becoming more comfortable and confident purchasing online, so now is the time to embrace this digital world and innovate your business to succeed.”

Ronan Cleary

For many SMEs starting out on this digital journey can be overwhelming and daunting, however Ronan advises, “You are not alone.  These times are challenging and unprecedented, but there is help available from Local Enterprise Office Waterford.  The starting point is simply sending an email or picking up the phone to book a free virtual consultation with a mentor.”

If your business has been affected by Covid-19 and you need advice about starting your digital journey, call the LEO Waterford office and a dedicated specialist will get back to you to discuss your business issue. This is a confidential service and is open to all businesses. LEO Waterford will also endeavour to signpost you towards further Government and State agency business supports.

Businesses can also avail of the Business Continuity Voucher, which is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The goal is to help business owners make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.

To book your free virtual consultation, via Skype or phone, call Local Enterprise Office Waterford on 0761 102905 or email and a dedicated mentor will get in touch with you.

For further information about any of the above measures visit here.