Finally, there is some great news and Escalate are delighted to be facilitating this initiative.
Grow your business online with help through the Government’s National Digital Strategy. The expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme is designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets. Participating in this scheme can make the process of trading online much easier for you.
It offers financial assistance of up to €2,500 with co-funding of 10% from the business* along with training and advice to help your business trade online. Cutting the cost of developing your online trading capacity by up to 90% can make this investment very affordable for many small businesses out there.*
Up until the beginning of April 2020, your LEO only funded 50% and you had to fund the remaining 50%. This has now been dramatically changed! If you’re eligible, the LEO will pay 90% of your costs and you only need to pay 10%! If you applied for a Trading Online Voucher in the past, you are now entitled to apply for a SECOND voucher to improve what you already have.
Below we’ve included some of the main bullet points to help you with the process. You can also download the complete government brochure.
If you are considering availing of the LEO online trading voucher, be sure to give us a call to discuss your needs and we can help you with the application process.
Call us today on – +353 1 524 0052
What is the LEO trading online voucher?
- A financial incentive to small businesses to develop their online trading
- Qualifying businesses can apply for up to 2,500 or 90% of eligible expenditure in funding
- Helpful information seminars about the use of the voucher will be provided online or by conference
- call to successful applicants – you must attend at least one of these
What’s the criteria to claim the online trading voucher?
Businesses with the following profile:
- Limited / No e-commerce
- 10 or less employees
- Turnover less than 2 million euro
- Trading at least 6 months
- Apply to LEO in your jurisdiction
Ineligible projects for the scheme
- Charitable companies / Semi-state companies / Trade associations / Company representation bodies
- Not for profit & social entrepreneurships operating in a commercial domain
- Professional IT services who can already trade online using in-house systems
- Conferences / Seminars
- Projects contrary to public policy
- Duplication of support for projects which would be eligible for assistance from other State Agencies of EU funded Operational ProgrammesProjects with more than 10 employees
- Projects capable of proceeding without scheme assistance
- Projects essentially comprising importation and distribution
What can the online trading voucher be used for?
- IT consultation
- Development / upgrade of e-commerce website
- Implementing Online payments or booking systems
- Purchase of Internet related software
- Developing an app (or multiplatform webpages)
- Implementing / developing a digital marketing strategy
- Training / skills development specifically to establish and manage an online trading activity
- Subscriptions (excluding transaction costs) to low cost online retail platform solutions, which would allow applicants to quickly establish a retailing presence online
- Purchase of online advertising (this cannot make up any more than 30% of all other approved
- Voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase)
- Purchase of Professional Photography (this cannot make up any more than 80% of all other approved voucher costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase)
What CAN’T the voucher be used for?
- Development of brochure websites **
- Purchase of non-internet related software
- Anything other than e-commerce trading related activity
** A brochure website is a digital version of a printed brochure. They show the products or services your company provides, however, unlike an e-commerce website, they do not sell the product or service online or have an interactive booking function
Additional info about the online digital trading voucher
- Voucher approval must be gained prior to incurring any expense
- Only third party costs considered. Own labour is NOT an eligible expense (labour of spouse / children considered own labour)
- Claims can be made in one or two instalments, and only made on actual work completed.
- Expenditure on various project components can only be claimed once.
- Third party/supplier invoices must contain proper business details (e.g. tax or business registration details)
- Applications must include written / emailed quotes for project works from three suppliers.
Drawdown Process (what you need to do next)
- Read the terms & conditions
- If satisfied you are eligible and wish to apply register to participate in an information event
- Participate in information session
- Submit copy of completed and signed application form in hard copy to your local LEO
- Soft copy of completed application to be supplied by email to your local LEO
- An evaluation committee from each LEO will assess the applications + make recommendations for approval
- A competitive process will be put in place to assist with selection process. Selection of successful applicant will be based on the following criteria:
- Project Suitability
- Value Added potential
- Export potential
- Job creation potential
- How will the project aid the business during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Financial sustainability
- Record decisions & report to LEO approvals committee
- Applicants will be required to participate in an information session on how best to use the voucher
- Successful applicants will receive a letter detailing the works and approved amount
- Letter should be signed & returned within 2 weeks
- Applicants have 9 months to complete their project