The Online Trading Voucher Scheme is the very official and staid name for an innovative and exciting grant programme with the potential to change your online business presence and acumen for the better. Unlike its unassuming name, this scheme is quite inviting and under it, you may be entitled to financial assistance of up to €2,500, alongside some priceless trade information. The grant is making ecommerce websites more effective while also providing training and expert advice to assist retailers in growing their small business website. This is a unique opportunity for retailers and small companies to avail of online support for businesses.
If you have been trading for more than a year, have less than ten employees and a turnover of less than €2million, then you can apply for this grant assistance at your local enterprise office. Those accepted to the programme will attend a free information session which offers a practical approach to web design for businesses, discusses search engine optimisation and explains the finer details of elements such as business website hosting. The grant must be matched 50% by the applicant and includes enhancing or renewing the introduction of online payments or booking systems. Other usage includes; purchase of Internet related software, online advertising, development of an app, implementation of a digital marketing strategy, consultation with ICT experts and training or skills development designed to assist in the establishing and managing online trading activity.
Online shopping in Ireland is a growing trend. Last year online shopping increased by 16% year on year and this is expected to rise as more and more shoppers access online retailers from a variety of devices. It is important not to be left behind in this changing market. It is not just the domestic markets which open to you, once you have establish a vibrant ecommerce site. European business generates £3bn a year from online shopping, France makes around £26bn a year from Internet shopping while the UK leads from the top with a cracking £44bn a year. Ireland is not far behind although the Central Statistics Office has not yet released up to date stats on online shopping, but retailers are reporting it as a thriving market with lower overheads and higher returns.
To date, over two thousand local companies have availed of the Online Trading Voucher Scheme. Some of these are your competitors. Attendance at an Information Session is required prior to submission of an application. You can register on line for these sessions at your local enterprise office.
With the advancement of online shopping and the high expectations of customers in relation to site use ability and secure payment options, not to mention a clean and modern website, this scheme is a golden opportunity for the small online trader.
For more Information the Local Enterprise Office Online Trading Voucher