Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme’s New €5m Fund ‘A Great Boost’ For Irish Retailers

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The release of the €5m latest round of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme is “a great boost for Irish retailers seeking to grow sales online in 2021”, says Grofuse Digital Director Denis Finnegan.

The new €5m grant aid kitty is to support businesses in upgrading their websites to boost opportunities in online retail.

Up to €40,000 (a maximum of 80% of projects’ total eligible costs) in grant aid is available to all types of Irish-based retailers which have both a physical store(s) and a pre-existing online presence. The scheme is administered by Enterprise Ireland and opens for application from today (May 4), closing on May 25.

Online Retail Scheme Funding

Contact our team for a free consultation before applying 

Mr Finnegan says: “This scheme has provided crucial support to help retailers grow sales online with the help of digital marketing and e-commerce expertise from specialists like Grofuse.

“The latest round of the scheme will be a welcome boost to many retailers seeking to scale up online. Our professional digital marketing and e-commerce teams have been continually working hard to improve retail websites in response to the recent significant shift in buyer behaviour towards online shopping.

“In order to survive and thrive businesses of all sizes across Ireland are investing in their online stores. Grants such as the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme – which offers to fund up to 80% of eligible costs to a maximum of €40,000 – have been very important in assisting this and continue to help retailers to future-proof their businesses with the help of experienced digital specialists.”

Services Grofuse can provide through funding

  1. Bespoke e-commerce website development or redesign
  2. Expert digital consultancy to research and improve digital marketing capabilities and online sales channels.
  3. The development of comprehensive e-commerce strategies for sustainable growth online through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC) and more.
  4. Integration (where suitable) of our superfast online ordering platform, Mercury Order (mercuryorder.com), with your existing website or as a stand-alone system to offer click & collect and/or delivery services.

Launching the latest round of grant funding, Minster of State for Business, Employment and Retail Damien English confirmed that 370 companies had received support under the Online Retail Scheme to date, to the value of €12.8m.

He said: “Over the last year, survival for many Irish retailers has been dependent on having an online presence.

“It continues to be a top priority for retailers to evolve these channels and take advantage of the new and existing local, national and international opportunities that exist through selling online,” he added.

Stephen Creaner, Executive Director with Enterprise Ireland, said: “Irish retailers are keenly aware of the opportunities that exist in the online space with many specifically targeting the Eurozone post-Brexit and taking advantage of the potential that lies in a global customer base,” he said.

Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme applications close at 12pm on May 25, 2021.

The Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment (DETE) has stated that the grant is a Competitive Fund which will be administered by Enterprise Ireland on behalf of DBEI.

Who Can Apply For Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme Funding?

Full information on the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme is available on the Enterprise Ireland website, which states the following on who can apply:

“The applicant must be an Irish-owned retail enterprise that had 10 or more full-time employees and has the potential to sustain or create jobs, generate growth in online transactions and with an ambition to internationalise their business in future. An application must be submitted in the name of a company registered with the Companies Registration Office and incorporated in the Republic of Ireland at the time of application. The business must also:

  1. Have an existing online presence (e.g. website or social media)
  2. Have a retail store on or before 29 February 2020 and derive the majority of company revenue from retailing products directly to individual consumers:
  3. Where a company provides both products and services, the applicant must provide a breakdown of sales revenue showing that products account for more than 50% of total revenue for a recent trading period, which may be up to the call close date
  4. Where a company has a mixture of business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) operations, the applicant must provide a breakdown of sales revenue showing that sales from B2C activities account for more than 50% of total revenue for a recent trading period, which may be up to the call close date
  5. Employ at least 10 employees in the Republic of Ireland on a full-time equivalent basis on or before 29 February 2020 or has grown to that level since then
  6. Previous applicants of the Online Retail Scheme who were unsuccessful will be eligible to re-apply with a modified proposal under this call
  7. A company/group may receive a maximum of two Online Retail Scheme approvals in a three year period. Successful applicants in previous calls are eligible to re-apply under this call, once they have fully completed the project previously approved, fully claimed all eligible costs before this call close date and propose a clearly different project to that undertaken under previous calls. This completion criteria also applies where related companies within a group structure wish to make an application.

Contact our team at Grofuse for a no-obligation, expert digital marketing and e-commerce consultation before submitting your Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme application, and make sure you put your best foot forward in future-proofing your business. Email [email protected] or call + 353 (0) 1 247 5294.

Free Grofuse Consultation Before Applying

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