Thu, 28th May, 2020

Available funding from your Local Enterprise Office to develop your online business

Small businesses throughout Ireland can apply to the government for digital vouchers, 'Trading Online Vouchers', to develop or upgrade their website to enable their business to trade online.

The objective of the Trading Online Voucher scheme is to help small businesses grow their sales, exports and ultimately jobs. Businesses will be able to apply for Trading Online Voucher grants of up to €2,500 (10% funding).

Download application form here. It is essential that you contact your Local Enterprise Office prior to discussing your proposal prior to application.

For anyone interested in the Trading Online Voucher scheme they should attend one of the LEOs free online mentoring clinics or information seminars for expert advice on how to make the most of the Trading Online Voucher scheme on offer.

Please note: grant aid cannot be retrospective. Any expenditure prior to date of approval is not eligible.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Vouchers will be available to a maximum value of €2,500 or 10% of eligible expenditure (Exclusive of VAT), whichever is the lesser;
  • Voucher approval must be gained prior to incurring any expense;
  • Own labour is not an eligible expense;
  • Third party costs only will be considered;
  • All third party/supplier invoices must contain proper business details (e.g. Tax and Business Registration details).

The Trading Online Vouchers are targeted at businesses with the following profile:

  • Limited Online Trading presence;
  • 10 or less employees;
  • Turnover less than €2m;
  • Applicant business must be registered and trading for at least 12 months;
  • Business must be located in the area covered by this phase of the scheme i.e. within the remit of the participating LEOs.

Ineligible Projects

  • Companies with charitable status, commercial semi-state companies, “not for profit” organisations, trade associations and company representation bodies such as Chambers of Commerce are not eligible to participate in the scheme;
  • Professional services specialising in IT type services who are already capable of trading online using existing in-house systems;
  • Conferences and Seminars;
  • Projects which are contrary to public policy;
  • Duplication of support for projects which would be eligible for assistance from other State Agencies of EU funded Operational Programmes;

What the vouchers can be used for:

  • IT consultation;
  • Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website;
  • Implementing Online payments or booking systems;
  • Purchase of Internet related software;
  • Purchase of online advertising (this purchase cannot make up any more than 30% of approved Voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase);
  • Developing an app (or multiplatform webpages);
  • Implementing a digital marketing strategy i.e. Social media marketing;
  • Consultation with ICT experts for early stage adopters of online strategy;
  • Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an on-line trading activity.

What the vouchers cannot be used for:

  • Development of brochure websites
  • Purchase of non-internet related software;
  • Anything other than online trading related activity.

Applications will be assessed based on a competitive process. All applications are reviewed when the call closes and the review process should be completed within 10 working days.