Last night the Irish government announced that the country would be moving to level 5 of the ‘Plan For Living with COVID-19’ framework. This is effectively another nationwide lockdown and will come as devastating news to some people and businesses.
This is a very serious time for many Irish businesses and we understand that some will not recover and live to see a brighter day. For other businesses however, there is an opportunity to turn a perceived negative into a positive. This article will explore this.
Earlier this year, the Local Enterprise Office announced changes to the Online Trading Voucher Scheme that many businesses have availed of. The closing date for these applications was the end of September – it may well open again in the future so with that in mind – below is some advice to those that may look to avail of it should it be re-opened.
Understand the rules
Lets start off with the ground rules of this scheme. The Trading Online Voucher Scheme is aimed at small business with up to 10 employees to trade more online. Grants of up to €2,500 are available with 10% co-funding from the business. So essentially for €250 input from your business, you can get work completed to a value of €2750.
The grant can be used to develop a new or upgrade an existing e-commerce website, add online payments or booking systems or develop an app. You must be trading for at least 6 months prior to application to avail of this scheme and you must attend an online trading seminar with your Local Enterprise Office. Your yearly turnover must be less that €2 million.
Note: you may only draw down the grant after the work has been completed and the provider has been paid in full. This is very important to understand before applying.