Help is available from two government grant schemes offering up to 90% of the cost of getting a business to trade online.

The Coronavirus crisis and related quarantine measures have left companies in a quandary: 85% of businesses have closed to some degree; 34% have closed entirely according to the latest survey by Chambers Ireland.

If and when shops are allowed to re-open, it is likely that some social distancing measures will continue to be required. Many retailers are working quickly to put ecommerce solutions in place and help is available from government schemes.

90% Trading Online Vouchers – Now You Can Apply for a Second One

Businesses with up to 10 employees can avail of the Trading Online Voucher (TOV) scheme operated by the Local Enterprise Offices around the country. In response to the crisis, the rules have been relaxed to allow companies which previously had a TOV to apply for a second one, “where upgrades are required”.

In addition, the matching funds requirement has been changed. Previous rounds of this scheme required the business to pay half the costs of the project: now a 10% investment (up to €250) is all that is required for the maximum grant of €2,500. It’s part of a wider response by the LEOs to help businesses to survive the pandemic, including Business Continuity Vouchers and COVID-19 Business Loans.

Online Retail Scheme for Larger Companies

Larger companies may be eligible for Enterprise Ireland’s Online Retail Scheme which has just announced a €2 million round of funding “in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the urgent need for retail companies to achieve a step change in online capability”.

Successful applicants will be awarded funding to support a maximum of 80% of the project eligible costs with a maximum grant of €40,000. The Online Retail Scheme is “for companies of 10 or more employees with the potential to sustain or create jobs, generate growth in online transactions and with an ambition to internationalise their business in future”. Qualifiying projects must have a minimum budget of €12,500 (grant of €10,000).

Now We Need Better than Business as Usual

Blacknight is working with new and existing customers to get their businesses online. Call us in Carlow to find out more.