MINISTER of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Business, Neale Richmond, TD, has encouraged retailers in Cork to apply for funding to enhance their online presence and increase online sales.
In the latest round of the Online Retail Scheme, funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment and administered by Enterprise Ireland, retailers can access up to €25,000 in grant funding to strengthen their e-commerce capabilities.
Minister Richmond strongly encouraged businesses to apply for the scheme, saying: “Irish retailers have proven their resilience over the past few years, adapting to changing customer behaviour in many cases by developing an online presence.
“This not only serves customers in Ireland but potential customers across the world.
“An online presence is no longer optional for many businesses, it is a key part of any business model and the benefits are huge.
“While it may be an intimidating prospect for some, the Government is determined to support businesses on this journey. The Online Retail Scheme is there to help ease this transition and I am delighted that it is again open for applications.
“Since 2018, the Online Retail Scheme has allocated more than €28m in funding in supporting more than 700 projects from Irish retailers. Importantly, the scheme has a national reach with more than 70% of successful retailers from the previous funding rounds based outside Dublin.
“Businesses who have participated in the scheme have reported increased sales, in Ireland and abroad, new employees, and an enhanced digital skill set among their current employees. Clearly, digitalisation makes a tangible difference in the success of Irish businesses.
“I would encourage all eligible retailers to strongly consider the benefits of this Scheme and apply for funding.”
The scheme provides direct financial support to retail companies to develop a more competitive online business offering to complement their in-store offering.
It is administered by Enterprise Ireland and there is €3.4m available in this round of funding.
Teri Smith, Manager, Retail, Consumer and Online Department, with Enterprise Ireland said: “The Online Retail Scheme is making a real difference to the bottom line of hundreds of retailers across the country and has the potential to open up new markets for the retail sector.
“An enhanced online presence not only boosts sales in the short-term, but it also brings longer-term benefits, allowing retailers to better use data to understand customer needs and manage customer relationships.”
The Online Retail Scheme is open for applications and closes on May 3.
For further information and how to apply see: https://www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/funding-supports/online-retail/online-retail-scheme/online-retail-scheme.html