The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has launched the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme to support and sustain the Irish retail sector through the current crisis. The competitive fund, with a total value of €2 million will be administered by Enterprise Ireland on behalf of the DBEI.

Scheme Overview

The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme aims to enable Irish owned retailers to significantly enhance their online capacity and develop a more competitive online offer. By having a strong online presence businesses will have the opportunity to build upon their existing customer base and enhance business resilience online and offline in both the domestic and global marketplace.

The ongoing Coronavirus crisis has shown how important it is for businesses to have an online presence. More than ever people are turning to the internet for information, services and their shopping. The Online Retail Scheme will help to support retailers who have had to rapidly adapt their business processes to enable online ordering and delivery.

The successful applicants will be awarded funding to support a maximum of 80% of the associated eligible project costs, up to a maximum grant of €40,000. The minimum grant payable under this scheme is €10,000.

Who Can Apply?

The following eligibility criteria apply to applicants of this scheme.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Irish owned retailers employing > 10 full-time employees on or before 29 February 2020
  • Must have an existing online presence (website or social media)
  • Must have an existing retail outlet and derive the majority of revenue from this retail outlet
  • Projects should show ambition to export in the future
  • Minimum expenditure of €12,500 (€10,000 grant) (50% can include salary costs)
  • Excludes eg. franchisees, hotels, restaurants, pubs and primary agricultural producers

Eligible Costs

Typical elements involved in developing a sophisticated and transactional online presence include research, consultancy costs for strategy development, implementation and training. All eligible costs under this scheme are required to be directly related to the implementation of the project.

Eligible cost include:

  • Salary costs of a senior project champion (manager level or above) in the applicant company to work with an external service provider on this project. The costs to support the salary of the project champion must not exceed the external service provider costs. A maximum of 1 internal champion per company is eligible for salary costs;
  • Fees of established service provider(s) to develop a digital strategy
  • Fees of established external service provider(s) to further develop / enhance the company’s transactional website or online presence. The grant must be used to introduce additional functionality;
  • Training Course fees are not eligible, however in-house training provided by an external provider to enable a company to develop and maintain a robust online retail operation are eligible. This could include training for CMS, eMarketing, catalogue management, e-commerce systems, SEO, etc.

How do I apply?

Retailers wishing to apply will do so through the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System during the Call open dates.

For more information on the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme click here.

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