The Trading Online Voucher can now offer small businesses funding towards: Mobile Apps, Website upgrades (online payments), Facebook / Google advertising, Photography, Video and more!
Trading Online Voucher 2017 – Valuable grant for small businesses to grow online
Small businesses (trading a minimum of 12 months ; less than 10 employees ; turnover less than €2m) may be eligible to get funding of up to 2500 to cover one or a ‘cocktail’ of programmes including:
Upgrade to website to enable online payments / e-commerce, a Mobile App for your business, photography and videos or your products and services for your website and social media, Digital Training with an expert or online service, Digital Consultancy, Online ads with Google and Facebook or purchase of a software. See end for link to next available dates.
(*Facebook and Google Ads are allowed a maximum of 30% of spend in the programme)
So…contrary to popular belief, the Trading Online Voucher provided by the local enterprise offices around the country is not just for exporters or just for ‘websites’. This was a really interesting and worthwhile thing to find out for both me and my clients! I had originally gone to the recent Wicklow Local Enterprise Office event to learn about opportunities for website funding for clients for my other business www.digitalbusiness.ie …but this new programme really is very generous and makes sense for small businesses. This FREE event is mostly presented by the acclaimed Noel Davidson – (pictured below with yours truly). Noel is a very dynamic live presenter and one of the best social media trainers in the country. You will glean a wealth of knowledge about doing your own social media and some simple but powerful SEO tips too. Noel is one of the key people at www.entrepreneursacademy.ie
At the event we were informed that the premise has changed for these grants. Originally, when this grant scheme was launched about two years ago, it was to help businesses to get online with a ‘brochure website’ with a focus on the export sector. But today with the trend ever increasing towards online spending it is estimated that only 23% of small Irish businesses are engaged in any meaningful way in eCommerce sales. For businesses employing less than ten people this percentage could be even lower.
It is now believed that of online purchases made in Ireland that up to 70% of these are done in overseas markets. The Irish government wants to claw back some of this spend and encourage people to buy with Irish suppliers and businesses. The scheme also encourages growth for job creation and exporting (Northern Ireland included as eligible ‘export location’ according to the Local Enterprise Office folks).
Online Trading Voucher 2017 Highlights
Here are the highlights of the scheme and process but please visit the local enterprise site for official instructions.
The maximum grant you can get is 2500 (ex Vat) and you must match this spend. So if you invest 5k, you get 2.5k back. You can also decide to invest a smaller amount but the grant will be 50% of that spend. You spend say 1k – you get 500 back in the grant.
Be mindful: You can only apply for this grant once – so choose wisely!
- The first mandatory thing involves attending one of the regular events hosted around the country.
- Then there is a deadline to complete the application process (there is a detailed form to complete). You need 3 quotes for each programme element except the online advertising – which can only be with Facebook or Google unless you go via an agency.
- Once you are approved, you then have a window of 4 months to complete the work. (Programmes you have invested in prior to getting approval are not eligible.
- You must pay for the work yourself and then you can download the grant voucher at the end of the 4 months, once all criteria are satisfied.
A key thing to know is that you do not need to go with the first deadline for the application process. There are a few rounds offered throughout the year for counties around the country. It may not suit for the next immediate round for example because most of the work would have to be carried out through the summer – suppliers may be on holidays causing delays or you may not be as available yourself. Just get the application and your supplier quotes in for the next available round.
There are a few restrictions around eligibility (see more here)
Next dates for the Wicklow events:
Find your local Enterprise Office:
Below slides content: credit to Wicklow Local Enterprise Office. www.localenterprise.ie/Wicklow/