The Local Enterprise Office (LEO) Trading Online Voucher scheme is designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises in Wexford (and indeed all of Ireland) improve their digital capabilities and online presence. The scheme is part of the wider Trading Online Programme, which is supported by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. The purpose of the scheme is to enable businesses to sell products and services online, reach new customers, and expand their market reach. This blog post will cover the eligibility criteria, acceptance criteria, and application process for the LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme in Wexford.
Overview of the scheme
The LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme provides financial assistance to eligible businesses in Wexford to help them develop their online trading capability. The scheme works by providing a voucher of up to €2,500 to cover up to 50% of the cost of eligible expenses. Businesses can use the voucher to develop or upgrade their website, implement e-commerce functionality, set up online payment systems, and improve their booking systems.
The benefits of the scheme for Wexford businesses are significant. By improving their online presence, businesses can reach new customers, increase sales, and expand their market reach. Additionally, the scheme provides businesses with the opportunity to develop their digital capabilities and remain competitive in an increasingly digital world.
The value of the voucher can cover up to 50% of the total cost of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of €2,500. Businesses must contribute the remaining 50% of the cost themselves. The voucher must be spent on eligible expenses, which will be covered in more detail later in this blog post.
To be eligible for the LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme, a business must meet certain criteria.
- 10 or less employees
- Turnover less than €2m
- Applicant business must be trading for at least 6 Months
- Business must be located in the area covered by the LEO to whom they make their application i.e. LEOs cannot accept applications from businesses located outside their jurisdiction. So if your business is based in Co. Wexford, you must apply to the Wexford Local Enterprise Office. Likewise for Wicklow, Dublin & Carlow etc.
Exceptions to the eligibility criteria may apply in certain cases. For example, businesses with charitable status, social enterprises, and community groups may be eligible to apply even if they do not meet all of the above criteria. Additionally, businesses that are part of a group or chain may be eligible to apply if they can demonstrate that they operate as an independent entity. Businesses that are not eligible for the scheme may be referred to other sources of support by the LEO.
To receive the LEO Trading Online Voucher, a business must meet certain acceptance criteria. Firstly, the business must demonstrate that the voucher will help them to develop their online trading capability. Secondly, the business must provide a clear project plan outlining the eligible expenses that the voucher will be used for. Thirdly, the business must provide evidence of quotes from suppliers for the eligible expenses.
The application process for the LEO Trading Online Voucher is straightforward. Firstly, businesses must complete an online application form available on the Local Enterprise Office website. The application form will require businesses to provide information about their business, their current online presence, and their project plan.
Once the application is submitted, it will be assessed by the Local Enterprise Office. The assessment process may involve a follow-up call or meeting with the business to discuss their application in more detail. If the application is approved, the business will receive a letter of offer detailing the amount of the voucher and the conditions attached to it.
Businesses must provide evidence of expenditure and completion of the project to the Local Enterprise Office within six months of receiving the voucher. Failure to do so may result in the business being required to repay the voucher.
The approval process for the LEO Trading Online Voucher can take up to eight weeks. Businesses are encouraged to apply early and to provide as much detail as possible in their application to help expedite the approval process.
How to Spend the Voucher
The LEO Trading Online Voucher can be used to cover a range of eligible expenses related to developing a business’s online trading capability. Some of the allowable expenses that the voucher can be spent on include website development, e-commerce functionality, online payments systems, booking systems, and digital marketing strategy development.
It’s important to note that the voucher cannot be used for any expenses that are not directly related to the development of the business’s online trading capability. For example, expenses such as stock purchases or office equipment are not eligible. The voucher cannot be used to cover expenses that were incurred prior to the date of application or for any ongoing expenses such as website hosting fees.
Businesses should ensure that they provide a detailed project plan outlining the eligible expenses that the voucher will be used for when submitting their application. This will help to ensure that their application is approved and that they receive the maximum benefit from the voucher.
Additionally, businesses should be aware that the LEO Trading Online Voucher can only be used to cover 50% of the eligible expenses. The business must cover the other 50% themselves. This is to ensure that the business has a vested interest in the success of the project and is committed to its completion.
By using the LEO Trading Online Voucher to cover eligible expenses, businesses can develop their online trading capability and improve their digital presence. This can help them to reach new customers and grow their business.
There have been many successful LEO Trading Online Voucher projects in Wexford and beyond that have helped local businesses to enhance their online trading capability and grow their digital presence. At ClearSoft we have helped bring e-Commerce visions alive for local business by using the voucher. We have built booking platforms for clients, implemented invoicing solutions and improved business efficiencies. These examples demonstrate the significant impact that the LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme can have on local businesses. By helping businesses to improve their online trading capability and digital presence, the scheme can lead to increased revenue, customer acquisition, and business growth.
In conclusion, the LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme offers numerous benefits to businesses in Wexford. Firstly, it provides financial assistance to cover the costs of developing and enhancing their online presence, enabling them to reach a wider customer base and increase sales. Additionally, the scheme offers valuable training and support, helping businesses to improve their digital capabilities and stay competitive in today’s digital marketplace.
We strongly encourage businesses in Wexford to consider applying for the LEO Trading Online Voucher scheme. It presents an excellent opportunity to enhance your online presence and digital capabilities, and ultimately, drive growth and success for your business. Don’t miss out on this chance to take your business to the next level. Apply for the LEO Trading Online Voucher today!
More information on the Trading Online Voucher can be found here and you can apply here. Note this is for Wexford – if you are applying outside of Wexford you’ll need to search for your local LEO Trading Online Voucher Scheme website.