Written answers

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Photo of Joe CareyJoe Carey (Clare, Fine Gael)
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60. To ask the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when he expects the online retail scheme funding of €9.3 million to be allocated in 2022; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24910/22]

Photo of Damien EnglishDamien English (Meath West, Fine Gael)
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A new round of the Online Retail Scheme was opened for applications on 05 May and closes on 01 June 2022. I expect that the successful applicants for this Call of the Online Retail Scheme with a total fund size of €9.3m will be announced by early Q3 2022.

In 2020, my Department launched the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme in response to the COVID-19 crisis and the urgent need for retail companies to increase their online capability.

The COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme helped companies in the indigenous retail sector who had already started an online journey, to enhance and strengthen their existing online presence. Under the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme €18.2m in funding was provided to over 500 projects.

Prior to the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme, 40 retailers across Ireland were provided €894,634 in funding over two calls of the Online Retail Pilot Scheme. The Pilot Scheme was introduced to enable retailers to increase their customer base and build a more resilient business.

The success of the Online Retail Scheme is evident from the broad spectrum of retailers right across the country who have received funding to date to make the digital transition. Successful applicants in the past include retailers in jewellery, fashion, sports, homeware, furniture, healthcare, hardware, electrical goods and equipment. Case studies from previous recipients of the Online Retail Scheme can be found on Enterprise Ireland’s website.

I urge all eligible retailers to apply for this scheme.

To support retailers applying for the Online Retail Scheme, Enterprise Ireland held a webinar on the 06 May outlining the application and evaluation process of the Scheme. There was good attendance at the webinar, indicating a strong appetite for the Scheme and included both repeat applicants and first-time attendees. Enterprise Ireland are due to hold a final webinar on the 24 May at 11am.

Further information about the scheme, webinars and Enterprise Ireland’s Starter Guide to building a successful digital strategy and omnichannel presence can be found on www.enterprise-ireland.com/en/funding-supports/Online-Retail/Online-Retail-Scheme/.


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