Applying for the COVID-19 online retail scheme could earn your business up to €40,000

By Simply Zesty

Read time - 4 mins

The application closing date is Wednesday 27th May 2020 at 3PM – submit your application to be in with a chance of earning financial support for your business during the Covid-19 virus.

| Apply here |


How has COVID-19 impacted your business?

Covid-19 has indelibly affected the way we live and work, both in the immediate, and longer term. As we adjust to its impact, we’ve been relying heavily on digital technologies to circumvent the physical restrictions which accompany self-quarantine. Zoom quiz nights serve as an alternative to a trip to the pub; FaceTime calls are a substitute for family dinners. The result? The Covid-19 crisis is fast tracking a far-reaching digital transformation.

The economic impact of this pandemic has been extensive and presents a multitude of commercial challenges, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses. Many of them have responded with creative approaches to sustaining their revenue generation; restaurants are offering click-and-collect menu options, fitness instructors are teaching online workshops and even the most traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses are embracing ecommerce. This is in line with a shift in consumer buying habits, as we move online to make our purchases safely and responsibly from home. When analysing the March revenue impact of Covid-19 on a number of key retail verticals, Modern Retail found that sales rose by 39% on average. Toys/games, food /drink and vaping even saw their revenue rise to over 200% their normal.

Now more than ever, a company’s online presence, from its website to its digital marketing strategy, is key to establishing a competitive advantage and creating opportunity in the face of obstacles posed by Covid-19. In recognition of this, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, through Enterprise Ireland, has announced COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme.


Why should you apply for the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme with Enterprise Ireland? 

The Scheme, with a total fund size of €2 million, intends to empower Irish-owned retailers to enhance their digital capabilities and develop a more competitive and sustainable online business model. The goal is to ensure businesses will be able to build resilience and increase their customer base across both domestic and global marketplaces.

Successful applicants will be awarded funding to support a maximum of 80% of eligible costs, with a maximum grant of €40,000 to cover the key elements involved in developed an effective online presence. These can include research, consultancy costs for strategy development, implementation and training. The minimum grant amount payable is €10,000.


Is your business eligible for the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme? 

Applicants must be Irish-owned retail enterprises. They must also have the potential to sustain or create jobs, generate growth in online transactions and demonstrate the ambition to internationalise their business in the future. Applications should be submitted in the name of a company registered with the Companies Registration Office and incorporated in the Republic of Ireland at the time of application. They must also:

  • Have an existing online presence (e.g. website or social media)
  • Have a retail outlet and generate the majority of revenue from the outlet(s)
  • Employ at least 10 employees in the Republic of Ireland (on a full-time equivalent basis on or before 29 February 2020)

Previous applicants of the Online Retail Scheme who were unsuccessful are eligible to re-apply with a modified proposal. Successful applicants in previous calls are also eligible to re-apply once they have fully completed the project funded, fully claimed all eligible costs and propose a clearly different project to that undertaken under previous calls.

If you’re still not sure whether you meet these criteria, you can read more here


How can you apply?

Applications must be made via the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System during the Call open dates.

Open date: Wednesday 29th April 2020

Closing date: Wednesday 27th May 2020 at 3pm

Apply here


We’re here to help!

If you’re finding the application process overwhelming, or simply want to discuss your options or eligibility, you can call or email us at any time. Now more than ever, we’re here to support businesses looking to maximise their digital presence and lay strong foundations for commercial success – which is also why we’re on Enterprise Ireland’s list of consulting agencies for this Scheme.