The €2500 Online Business Grant You Probably Don’t Know About
As part of the National Digital Strategy, the Irish government has a generous grant scheme aimed in particular to help small businesses trade online. Known as the Trading Online Voucher Scheme this grant offers training and advice, along with financial assistance of up to €2,500 (matched funding).
5 Reasons to Avail of this Grant
- Cut Costs – It can potentially cut the cost of your investment in online trading by 50%
- Practical Advice – You get practical training and advice from the scheme
- Increased Sales – According to LEO businesses that participated in the scheme reported a sales increase by 20%, with an 80% jump in sales leads and 3 in 5 began exporting for the first time.
- Don’t get left behind – your competitors are no doubt already trading online and if they aren’t they are planning to.
- Multi-purpose grant – It’s not just money for online shop – from online advertising to strategy creation to app development the Trading Online Voucher Scheme is a good fit for more small businesses regardless of their level of development.
3 Simple Steps to Making a Grant Application
Step 1 – Check Your Eligibility
The grant is tailored to small businesses in particular and the criteria are as follows:
- You must be a small Irish business with a limited online trading presence
- Have up to 10 employees
- Your turnover is less than €2m
- You have been trading for a minimum of 12 months
- Your business must be located in the region of the local enterprise office to whom you are applying to
- Vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser;
- 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).
Step 2 – Get Your Thinking Cap On
Have a think about how your business could, should, or needs to trade (for the first time or trade more) online. The grant is supportive of the following type of work.
Think about the opportunities for your business
- Are their opportunities for your business to begin or trade more online?
- Are your competitors trading online and could you do the same?
- Do you need to develop Digital Marketing Strategy?
- Do you need to develop or upgrade an ecommerce website?
- How could implementing online payments or booking functions help trade more online?
- Is there a piece of Internet related software that would drive online trade for your business?
- Would the development of an app/mobile responsive website help?
- Does your business need training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an on-line trading activity?
Think about how your application fits in with the assessment criteria
- Is your business project suitable for the scheme?
- Is there export potential?
- How will trading more online contribute to job creation in your business?
- Is there potential to create or increase online sales potential?
- Quality of the application itself.
Step 3 – Make Contact With LEO to Get The Ball Rolling
- All applications are handled by the Local Enterprise Office’s (LEO). There are offices all around Ireland – click here https://www.localenterprise.ie/Find-Your-Local-Enterprise-Office/ to find the closest one to you.
- They will discuss the application procedure with you and thereafter if suitable they will send you
- Important note: You must apply and be approved before carrying out any work you intend to apply for grant support
Other things to consider
- How long does all this take?
Typically once applications are submitted there is a 3-4 week turnaround.
- What kind of things are expected in the application?
- A short application form is to be filled out (which is inclusive of a short business plan)
- Quotations from 3 web suppliers for the work you require.
- I don’t have any IT skills – can I still apply?
The whole purpose of the scheme is to bring as much business as possible online. As well as financial support the LEO offices provide training and advice to help you on the road to online sales.
- Download Sample Scheme Application Form Here (LEO Clare Office)
(Note: you need to apply to your own LEO office – click here https://www.localenterprise.ie/Find-Your-Local-Enterprise-Office/ to find the closest one to you.)
- Official websites of the scheme:
- Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Trading Online Voucher Scheme https://www.localenterprise.ie/Discover-Business-Supports/Trading-Online-Voucher-Scheme-/
- Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment https://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/communications/topics/Digital-Strategy/trading-online-voucher-scheme/Pages/Trading-Online-Voucher-Scheme.aspx
About Humdinger Digital
Humdinger Digital have worked with many companies to get them on the road to trading online. Many of our clients have successfully gone through the Trading Online Voucher Scheme so we’re experienced in dealing and quoting for this type business. For more information, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 091 395500