Businesses in Galway have availed of more than €1.8 million in funding under the Online Retail Scheme to help them into the digital marketplace.
The Online Retail Scheme was first launched in 2018, but really came into its own over the past 18 months, when Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme was set up in response to the pandemic needs of businesses.
When the pandemic lockdowns resulted in businesses being shut across the country, being able to continue to sell online through delivery, and later click-and-collect, was an essential lifeline for shops.
To date, the Scheme has provided funding of over €19 million to more than 500 businesses across the country to build or expand an online platform.
Galway Senator Aisling Dolan said that the pandemic meant that businesses, which had never dabbled in operating online before, had to “completely pivot” when lockdown hit, and this scheme helped them do that.
“Businesses across Galway have benefited from the Online Retail Scheme since its inception in 2018, but it’s been of particular help to retailers over the past 18 months as it allowed them to continue trading while their doors were shut.”
In total, businesses in Galway received funding of €1,446,418 from the scheme, in grants of between €10,000 and €25,000.
“For many of these retailers, the ability to trade online was the most significant factor in keeping their businesses open and protecting local jobs.
“The three rounds of the Online Retail Scheme to date are currently being reviewed and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar recently signaled his intention to open a further round of applications for funding later this year.”
In addition to this, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme was another avenue of support for businesses to embrace the internet, supporting not just retailers, but all manner of large and small services and other businesses.
This scheme, operated through the Local Enterprise Office network, offers grants of up to €2,500 to help businesses establish or improve their online presence.