If you are an established business in Ireland of at least 1 year old, you may be missing out on up to €2,500 in funding for your next online store. The Trading Online Voucher (TOV) scheme may be the catalyst for you to improve your current store or move to Shopify and grow local & international sales.
The idea is to equip small businesses to compete with international giants in a digital platform. The government has issued €2,500 vouchers to 800 small businesses in Ireland along with training in digital sales techniques and networking support.
Irish businesses should be getting their share of the €850,000 per hour that Irish consumers spend online 24 hours a day every day. The 21 Local Enterprise Offices offices supply the funding and technical advice that has made Irish business competitive internationally.
A recent survey has shown that 60% percent of the small Irish businesses involved in the program began to export goods and services to markets in the United States, Britain, and the world that the companies never had access to before. The increase in sales resulted in an average increase in employment of 1.4 persons per business. The result in employment is huge considering that the majority of businesses that use the program employee ten or fewer people.
Now 3 years old, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme is popular in retail, professional services, manufacturing, arts, and food. One small Irish specialty food company even found a niche market in Japan.
Training in search engine optimisation has allowed the companies involved in the scheme to attain an 84% increase in customer enquiries.
There are still improvements that need to be made to keep small business in Ireland competitive. Irish small businesses are urged to implement a click and collect scheme on their sites so they stay competitive.
Full details of the Trading Online Voucher scheme can be found here.