The Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE) have teamed up with the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) to offer eligible businesses the opportunity to grow their online presence through Trading Online Vouchers.
The scheme previously offered a maximum return of €2,500 or 50% of your costs. It now offers businesses financial assistance of 90% (businesses now only need to pay 10% of costs), making it more affordable for small businesses to boost their online presence.
In addition, businesses who previously received the voucher can reapply a second time if your website is in need of an upgrade. This includes adding facilities for payment, booking systems of app development.
What are trading online vouchers?
Trading Online Vouchers not only offers financial assistance to your business, but can help provide training and advice on how you can operate your business and thrive in an online environment.
One your application is approved, you can begin contacting suppliers to complete the necessary work. You will need to get at least three quotes but remember, the decision on who would would like to work with stays with you. The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) doesn’t tell you which quote to accept.
Before you can draw down your voucher, you need to pay all your suppliers in full. Once payment is made, you can then submit a request for payment from your LEO.
Upon approval of an application, eligible businesses can contact suppliers to complete the necessary work. when work is completed you can then submit a request for payment to your local enterprise office.
What can you avail of with the trading online vouchers?
Through the scheme, you can avail of training or skills development to enable you to establish and manage your online trading activities in-house.
This could include digital marketing training, website development and maintenance, and content marketing.
2. Website Development
Develop or upgrade your website or add an e-commerce element to your current website. The vouchers can also be utilised to enable online payments or create a new booking system.
Ensure you begin your online journey the right way or develop your next steps through consultation in areas you need development.
Obtain a consultation with ict experts for early stage adopters of online strategy.
4. Digital Marketing
Find a supplier to create, develop and implement a digital marketing strategy to suit your needs. You can also work with photographers of videographers to create images and videos for your website and social media.
The vouchers can be utilised for a range on online advertising including Pay per Click (PPC) advertising.
6. Web Applications
The voucher not only covers the cost of app development, it also covers the cost of productivity apps that enable online trade. An example of these would be Xero, QuickBooks, ConvertKit and Asana.
In addition, it can include annual subscription costs for website hosting and the purchase of website domains.
What can the vouchers not be used for?
Among this criteria, is the:
- Development of brochure websites
- Purchase of non-internet related software
- Anything other than online trading related activity.
Is my business eligible?
Eligibility can be determined under the following criteria:
- Limited or no e-commerce presence;
- 10 or less employees;
- Turnover of less than €2m;
- Applicant business must be trading for at least 6 Months.
How to I apply for the Trading Online Voucher?
To apply for the scheme, you must first attend a Trading Online Voucher seminar. The Information seminars usually run in a location selected by your LEO. Due to the current circumstances, they are all currently online only.
Applications for the 90% Trading Online Voucher begin from 7 April and will close on 20 September 2020. For more information on the scheme, visit the LEO website and to download the application form, click here.