38 Munster retailers have secured government funding as part of the second call of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme.
A total of 16 retailers across Cork were successful in their applications for the scheme, with nine Kerry businesses securing funding and four in Limerick. Four Tipperary retailers, three Waterford businesses and two Clare retailers also secured funding.
The retailers awarded funding included Limerick booksellers O’Mahony’s, family-owned footwear store Walsh Brothers Kerry, craft haven Vibes & Scribes in Cork and a number of pharmacies across the region.
The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme, which is administered by Enterprise Ireland, is targeted at Irish-owned retailers that have 10 or more full-time employees and who already have an online presence to strengthen their online offering and enable them to reach a wider customer base.
Under the second competitive call, successful applicants will receive funding ranging from €16,000 to €40,000 to strengthen their online offering. The average grant value is €36,700 and covers up to 80% of project costs.
Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Damien English TD, today announced that some 145 retailers across the country have been approved for funding through the second call of the scheme.
Minister Damien English TD said the economic value of operating in the e-commerce space and its convenience for customers has “come to the fore” this year.
“We know that consumers are keen to support their local retailers, even when shopping online, and these grants will help businesses to really maximise the opportunities in the e-commerce market.”
“Of course, this market is not limited by geography and physical location and we know that Irish businesses with strong online resources also have their eyes on the international marketplace.”
“The Government continues to focus on helping businesses to get back on track in the coming months and as more of our workplaces and businesses can reopen in the coming weeks, in line with public health guidelines, we will do everything we can to support retailers in creating safe shopping spaces, in store and online, for customers and staff,” he finished.
Stephen Creaner, Executive Director, Enterprise Ireland said the scheme has proven to be “very attractive” to Irish retailers, who he says are “keenly aware” of the growing e-commerce opportunities at home and abroad.
“Grants through this scheme are being used by retailers to upgrade their systems to improve their digital presence and to become more competitive in the virtual marketplace. This is helping to broaden their customer base and grow sales with some companies reporting that they are recruiting extra staff as result.”
“Ultimately, retailers who are investing in their online presence now are also strengthening their offering to help deal with the uncertainty and challenges that lie ahead,” he said.
The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme works alongside the €2,500 Trading Online Voucher Scheme, provided through Local Enterprise Offices for companies with under 10 employees.
So far this year, Local Enterprise Offices have paid out in excess of 9,000 vouchers under the ‘Trading Online Voucher Scheme’, with more than 1,000 of these approved by the three LEOs in Cork city and county.