€1.25m fund to support Irish retailers online offering opens for applications

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Funding is now available for businesses under the Online Retail Scheme 

The second call of the pilot Online Retail Scheme has opened. The €1.25m fund, administered by Enterprise Ireland is targeted at retailers with an online presence to encourage acceleration of their online offerings and can be used to fund research, strategy development, implementation and training.

Under this second competitive call, successful Irish retailer applicants with the ambition to internationalise through a strengthened online offering can receive funding ranging from €10,000 to €25,000.

The Scheme’s purpose is to support Irish retailers to strategically enhance their online sales capabilities to increase competitiveness and subsequently scale their businesses in international markets.

The Online Retail Scheme is open to applications from Irish owned retail businesses with 10 or more employees, and who have a physical retail outlet.

The online application platform will remain open for six weeks, closing at 3.00pm on Wednesday, 31 July 2019. Information on the Online Retail Scheme and details on how to apply are available at www.enterprise-ireland.com/ retail.

Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys said: “Retailing supports jobs in every city, town and village in the country and so it is critical that our retail sector is competing at the forefront of the digital revolution. Following the interest level and volume of applications received for the first call of the scheme, I am delighted to announce the opening of the second call for applications to support Irish retailers to develop and grow their online retail presence and effectively compete with international companies.

Increasing the international sales of Irish companies translates into sustaining and creating high-quality, sustainable jobs across the country – something that this Government is firmly focused on through the Future Jobs Ireland framework. Aligned with this, the Online Retail Scheme is intended to enable Irish retailers to expand their reach to a wider customer base both at home and abroad.”

Through the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Enterprise Ireland will administer the second call of the Online Retail Scheme. Commenting, Stephen Hughes, Head of Consumer, Enterprise Ireland said: “The Scheme has been developed in response to the challenges currently faced by the retail sector in keeping up with consumers’ ever-changing appetite for quick and easy consumption and the advances in digital capability. The fund will provide grants between €10,000 and €25,000 on a match fund basis with the purpose of enhancing their online offering. By delivering the Online Retail Scheme, we intend to support Irish retailers to innovate, and through innovation, increase their competitiveness and international reach.”

“Regional development is a significant pillar of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy and we understand the important role played by retailers in regional communities. To this end, once the fund criteria is met, at least half of the total number of funds will be awarded to Irish retail businesses based outside of Dublin,” concluded Stephen Hughes.

For further information on the Scheme, interested parties can email retail@enterprise-ireland.com.