The Online Trading Voucher Scheme, recently launched by the DCENR, provides small companies with a chance to develop their eCommerce website or digital marketing strategy by offering them grants of up to €2,500 or FIFTY % of eligible expenditure.
Recent statistics reveal, that although Irish people spend over €4 billion Euro per year online, only a small fraction of this spending goes to Irish businesses. This is because only approx 23 % of Irish small businesses have online presence and actively engage in eCommerce.
The Online Trading Voucher System aims to change this statistic. Recognising the growing importance of the digital economy, Minister Rabbitte announced that he was setting aside €5m in 2014 to assist in the roll-out of a national trading-online voucher scheme, aimed at getting 2,000 small Irish businesses trading online.
Online Trading Vouchers will be available to a maximum amount of EUR2,500 or 50 % of qualified expense (ex VAT), whichever is the lower. The business owner will be expected to match the voucher amount received.
Voucher authorization must be obtained prior to incurring any kind of cost.
Own labour and cost are not an eligible expense, only third party costs will be taken into consideration.
All 3rd party/supplier invoices must include proper business information (e.g. Tax and Business Registration details).
Minimal or no prior online trading presence
Less than 10 employees
Turnover less than EUR 2m
Applicant business must be officially registered and trading for at least 12 months
Business should be located in among the pilot locations under this scheme
Online Trading Vouchers will be available to businesses throughout Ireland including cities and areas such as Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway, Kerry & Waterford.
Projects ineligible for the grant
Charities, semi-state companies, “not for profit” organizations, trade associations and company representation bodies such as Chambers of Commerce
Professional services specialising in IT type solutions that are currently capable of trading online
Conferences and Seminars
Projects which are contrary to public policy
Businesses with more than 10 employees
Projects essentially consisting of importation and circulation
What the Online Trading Vouchers can be used for
Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website
Implementing Online payments or booking systems
Social Media Marketing
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Purchase of online advertising – Pay Per Click (PPC). This purchase cannot make up any more than 30% of approved Voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase.
Purchase of Internet related software
Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an on-line trading activity
What the vouchers cannot be used for
Development of brochure websites
Purchase of non-internet related software
Anything other than online trading related activity
How To Apply
In order to apply for an Online Trading Voucher you must first attend a training session on how to use and get the best value for money from the voucher. The next training session will take place on Tuesday, 10th June 2014.
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