Enterprise Ireland's Covid19 Online Retail Scheme. Info & Tips

As many of you may have heard, Enterprise Ireland have recently invited applications for a Covid19 Online Retail Scheme. It has a total budget of 2 million euros, and seems perfectly tailored for Ireland’s SME sector; for Irish-owned companies that employ a minimum of ten full-time employees. The minimum grant allocation is 10,000 for a spend of 12,500, so the proposal must warrant at least that level of investment.

Enterprise Ireland have published an extensive list of guidelines and criteria on this webpage. In addition, this online seminar, chaired by David Hughes, head of the Consumer Retail Team in Enterprise Ireland, and Mary Cloak, who is head of Enterprise Ireland’s digital marketing strategy.

If you own a business in Ireland, and you are considering applying for the online scheme, find below a summary of the eligibility criteria, weighting and other important facts to consider when making your application.

Writing grant applications are one of my areas of specialisation, so I can assist you in any way please do not hesitate. If successful, I can also assist you with content writing, digital marketing and data research; as part of my Covid19 #atimetopromote campaign I am offering very competitive reductions on all of these services.

If you considering making an application, please be aware a number of business types are illegible. Businesses whose primary produce is in agriculture and marine, the leisure and hospitality sector (which includes restaurants and hotels) as well as horticulture and those principally engaged in the selling of alcoholic beverages, are, unfortunately, illegible. They also exclude businesses that are part of a franchise and trade that entails the selling of tobacco-based and cannabis-based products.

Of the businesses that do qualify, the majority of your sales must take place in your ‘brick and mortar’ business, or, in other words, in your physical retail store or another offline setting.

However, while the majority of your trade must be offline, you must have an existing online presence, and conduct some business through online channels.

Having read through the application criteria, here are two tips for anyone considering applying:

TIP 1!

Your business must demonstrate an international ambition. This means your business must show a willingness and a capacity to sell to customers based in other countries, in places like Britain, the United Sates, continental Europe and further afield. A tip on how to illustrate this; show, through analytics software for example,that people from other countries visited your online shop, website or social media page. This would demonstrate that your business has a potential to sell into export markets; if people visit you page, the next task is to ‘convert’ that visit into a sale.

TIP 2!

Applicants must justify the need for funding. One obvious example is a drop in customer numbers. I think a drop in online sales, or a drop in offline sales that could be substituted by online sales, would do the trick here and help make the case for your business.

As mentioned above, if you would like my assiatnce in writing your proposal, please do not hesitate. You can email me at jeremy@writeourblog.com with your proposal or leave a message.

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