Rural Business Development Grant NI Offers £5,000 For New E-commerce Websites In May 

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This grant is currently closed.

Micro businesses in Northern Ireland can get up to £5,000 towards a new e-commerce store with the new Rural Development Grant which is available during the month of May (2022).

 Grofuse Digital Director, Denis Finnegan, said: “The grant will provide funding assistance of 50% up to the value of £5,000 towards e-commerce websites to support the recovery, development and sustainability of existing businesses based in rural areas in Northern Ireland. The funding will provide the opportunity for many businesses to ramp up their innovation activity and the efficiency of their rural businesses At Grofuse, we are on hand to assist with your application and ensure you have the best e-commerce solution to grow your rural businesses .” 

Grant Overview – What You Need To Know 

Local councils in Northern Ireland are delivering the scheme on behalf of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Projects must address an issue of rural poverty and/or social isolation, and applicants will be required to provide 50% of the project funding. The total cost of the capital project must be a minimum of £1,000 and must not exceed £20,000.

All eligible businesses must attend a ‘pre-funding workshop’ and submit their application online. Contact your local Council for more details on pre-funding workshops. A Grofuse Growth Consultant is ready to assist you with your application with a no-obligation consultation on how to get the most from your e-commerce or software development with the aid of this grant funding. Simply contact us to get started.

Applications will open from May 4 until May 31, 2022, and no late applications will be accepted.

Please note that this is a competitive process and all grants awarded will be determined on merit.

The scheme is being administered by various local Councils, including:

  • Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council
  • Ards and North Down Borough Council
  • Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council
  • Belfast City Council
  • Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
  • Derry City and Strabane District Council
  • Fermanagh and Omagh District Council – Enniskillen Office
  • Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council
  • Mid and East Antrim Borough Council
  • Mid Ulster District Council – Dungannon
  • Newry, Mourne and Down District Council

Rural Business development grant NI

What You Can Apply For

  • E-commerce websites to enable online purchase capabilities and to establish an online presence for marketing purposes.
  • Computer software (outright purchases only – ongoing license fees are not eligible).
  • Computer equipment such as computers, laptops or printers.
  • New equipment or machinery.
  • Mobile machinery such as scissor lifts, forklifts, and ride-on lawnmowers.
  • Covid-19 business recovery equipment, including free-standing screens and hand sanitiser units.

Eligibility Criteria

You will be eligible for the grant if:

  • Your business is located in a rural area of Northern Ireland (fewer than 5,000 residents) plus the areas of:

–   Strathfoyle

–   Newbuildings and Culmore in Derry/Londonderry Urban Area (OUA)

–   Milltown

–   Helens Bay

–   Crawfordsburn and Groomsport in the Belfast Metropolitan Urban Area (BMUA).

If you are unsure whether you are in an eligible rural area, contact your local authority before submitting your application.

  • You are an existing, registered private business or social economy enterprise that is actively trading commercially.
  • You have not received funding under the TRPSI Rural Business Development Scheme in 2021. Businesses that have received funding in 2019 and in 2020 are eligible to apply.
  • Your business currently employs less than ten full-time equivalent employees (based on the full time of 30 hours per week and part-time of at least 16 hours per week).  
  • You are legitimately insured or prepared to obtain insurance if awarded a grant (building, contents or public liability insurance, as appropriate). 
  • You have a dedicated bank account used by the business. 
  • You have attended a ‘pre-funding workshop’ before the application call closes. Details of workshops will be available by contacting your local Council.
  • You can complete your project before October 31, 2022. Grant offers are expected to be made in late August or early September 2022. Your project cannot commence until you receive a formal offer of funding. Projects must be finished by October 31, 2022. This includes all works completed, onsite and operational, paid and through the bank account by this date.
  • You are aged 18 or above at the application deadline. 
  • Only one application can be accepted per business.
  • Sports clubs and community groups can only be considered if they are commercially trading and generating sales revenue from selling goods and services to customers who are not club or community group members.

The grant can only be used to support the sustainability, survival and/or development of this commercial element, and not for the club or community group on its own. 

You will not be eligible for the grant if: 

  • Your business is located in an urban area with a population of over 5,000.
  • Your business has received financial assistance from the TRPSI Rural Business Development Grant Scheme 2021.
  • Your business is a new start business that is not yet trading.
  • You are a farmer, or anyone registered to a Category 1 DAERA Business ID, undertaking the mainstream agricultural activity. 

How To Apply

  • Your application form must be completed online with all of the supporting procurement documentation uploaded to the online system before the portal closes. This includes all quotes, specifications and supplier emails. 
  • You must add a detailed specification for each item you are applying for if the quotations supplied are not for identical items. (see the table below)
  • You must provide a minimum of two quotes or price checks for each item you are applying for. (see the table below)
Total Estimated Cost Per Item Action And Minimum Number
Up to £5,000 At least two price checkers per item from different suppliers/internet quotations
£5,001 – £20,000 At least two different quotes per item from different suppliers (internet quotes cannot be used)

Submission Deadline

Your application and supporting documents must be submitted via the online application system and uploaded by 12pm on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

The online system closes at this date and time and no late applications will be accepted. It is recommended that you register, complete and submit your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

For a free consultation with additional advice and guidance throughout your application, contact our team today. Alternatively email [email protected] or call our team on +44 2871 228820.