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Irish Government announces funding for domestic retailers

04 May 2021 (Last Updated May 4th, 2021 17:07)

The Irish Government has announced another round of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme for eligible Irish-owned retail enterprises.

The Irish Government has announced another round of the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme for eligible Irish-owned retail enterprises.

Launched by Business, Employment and Retail Minister Damien English, the €5m ($6m) grants are intended to help retailers enhance their websites and boost online retail competitiveness.

Under the scheme, eligible retailers can secure an amount of up to €40,000 ($48,012).

The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme is designed to help Irish-based retailers who had ten or more employees on or before 29 February 2020, or who have since reached this number of employees.

The applicants are required to run a physical store and have a pre-existing online presence.

Grants given under the Enterprise Ireland-administered scheme can be used to finance the development and deployment of digital strategies backed by in-house training.

They can be used by retailers to augment their website and associated systems.

English said: “Over the last year, survival for many Irish retailers has been dependent on having an online presence. It continues to be a top priority for retailers to evolve these channels and take advantage of the new and existing local, national and international opportunities that exist through selling online.

“As Minister, I am determined to support the ambition to expand beyond the physical shop and this Scheme offers retailers the vital financial support to do just that.

“It is important for the future of retail here that in-store shopping is complemented by an improved online offering so that innovative local businesses can secure a greater share of the overall online retail spend by Irish consumers.”

Around 370 companies have received funding worth €12.8m ($15.3m) under the scheme so far.

Last month, Foreign Minister Simon Coveney revealed plans to start reopening all retail stores in Ireland this month. Stores have been closed across the country since the beginning of the year.