December 1, 2020
Grow your business online with help through the Government’s National Digital Strategy. The expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme is designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets. Participating in this scheme can make the process of trading online much easier for you.
What is the Trading Online Voucher Scheme?
The voucher is a financial incentive to small businesses to develop or enhance their ability to trade online. Under the scheme a qualifying business may apply for funding to a maximum value of €2,500 or 50% of eligible expenditure (exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser. Following approval of their application, a successful applicant can engage suppliers and upon completion of the work, submit a request for payment to the LEO in line with the terms and conditions of their voucher.
Information seminars will be made available online or by conference call to prospective applicants to support them in their application process and it will be a condition of applying for the vouchers that applicants participate in one of these seminars. At each seminar attendees will be informed of the purpose of the scheme and how best to use and get value from the application of the voucher.
The application process for the vouchers will be a competitive process.
What is the eligibility criteria?
The vouchers are targeted at businesses with the following profile:
- Limited or no e-commerce presence
- 10 or less employees
- Turnover less than €2m
- Applicant business must be trading for at least 6 Months
- Business must be located in the area covered by the LEO to whom they make their application i.e. LEOs cannot accept applications from businesses located outside their jurisdiction
Businesses that have already received a Trading Online Voucher can now apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required.
*Applicant business must provide clear proof of trading for a minimum of 6 months to their Local Enterprise Office.
What CAN the voucher be used for?
- IT consultation;
- Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website;
- Implementing Online payments or booking systems;
- Purchase of Internet related software;
- Developing an app (or multiplatform webpages);
- Development of a digital marketing strategy;
- Implementing a digital marketing strategy;
- Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an online trading activity.
- Subscriptions (excluding transaction costs) to low cost online retail platform solutions, which would allow applicants to quickly establish a retailing presence online.
- Purchase of online advertising (this purchase cannot make up any more than 30% of all other approved Voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase);
- Purchase of Professional Photography (this expenditure cannot make up any more than 80% of all other approved voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase)
What can the voucher NOT be used for?
- Development of brochure websites*;
- Purchase of non-internet related software;
- Anything other than e-commerce trading related activity.
* A brochure website is digital version of a printed brochure. They show the products or services your company provides, however, unlike an e-commerce website, they do not sell the product or service online or have an interactive booking function. With a brochure website, the goods and services are only displayed, so customers will have to contact the company to place an order.