Businesses in Galway & Roscommon have chance for a new round of funding to promote online presence to customers at home and abroad, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Senator Aisling Dolan was speaking after Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English today launched a new round of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme worth €9.3m, to help Irish businesses to upgrade their websites and improve their competitiveness in online retail.
Speaking today, Senator Dolan said:
Many Irish businesses stepped up over the last few years and have developed fantastic online websites and social media platforms – so many examples where Irish people abroad can buy local crafts online from the gift shop in Galway and send to their parents and friends. Or where you can browse, select, purchase 24/7 and also have delivery or collection of all types of retail.”
Consumer habits have also changed in recent years and it was great for people to know that that when they went online, they discovered that they could shop local, particularly when the pandemic occurred.
Government was keen to help businesses adapt to and embrace this change, and the Online Retail Scheme was launched to help them develop and improve their offering beyond the physical shop. For so many businesses, the idea is to dream big and think of markets overseas, how to manage online advertising, how to expand and potentially create more jobs locally.
“There have been over 500 successful approvals under the Online Retail Scheme, which includes many businesses here in Co. Galway. Past applicants have included many retailers selling jewellery, fashion, sports, homeware, furniture, healthcare, hardware, electrical goods and equipment.
And businesses are rightly preparing for the future and growing their presence so that they can attract and cater for different types of shoppers.
Funding could be to better develop your website, procurement, to bring on a consultant to build a strategy, or it could also be to fund a member of staff to take the lead in your business and develop a digital strategy. If businesses have previously received funding, they are still eligible to apply with a different project, webinars & FAQS are available with further details. Strict deadline of 12pm Wed 1st June so put the application together now for the Online Retail Scheme” Senator Dolan said.
The Scheme is administered by Enterprise Ireland and there is €9.3m available in this round of funding, which opens for applications today, Thursday, 5 May 2022, and closes on 1 June 2022. Further information and details on how to apply are available https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/funding-supports/Online-Retail/Online-Retail-Scheme/.
In order to be eligible for this funding, applicant companies must have 10 or more full-time employees in a physical store and an existing online presence. This is to support the clicks and bricks for Irish retailers.
Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English added, “I want Irish based retailers to have every chance of competing for online sales that are currently going outside the country. There is no reason why Irish businesses cannot successfully compete for home sales as well international sales. The Government is also determined to support more business owners to enhance their online capabilities and presence to exploit opportunities in existing and new markets.
The transition to online shopping was accelerated over the last two years and consumers retail habits have changed significantly. Many now make purchases anytime, anywhere, anyplace at the tip of their fingers or with the click of a mouse. It makes sound business sense to have an omnichannel approach to selling in order to cater for these new demands and to be competitive in the market.
Almost all previous recipients of funding in this Scheme noted an increase in online sales, many in international markets and the vast majority have hired additional employees to manage their increase in online sales.”