New scheme to help strengthen the online presence of Irish retailers

At least 50% of grants will be reserved for firms with headquarters outside Dublin

New scheme to help strengthen the online presence of Irish retailers

A woman looks at an online shopping website on a laptop | Image: John Stillwell/PA Archive/PA Images

A new €625,000 scheme is being set up to help Irish retailers strengthen their online offering.

The pilot competitive scheme is for SMEs in the retail sector, and will be delivered by Enterprise Ireland.

The Department of Business says it will "support retailers to strengthen their online trading capabilities in order to compete internationally."

Business Minister Heather Humphreys made the announcement on Thursday at a meeting of the Retail Consultation Forum.

She said: "Many retailers face increasing international competition on their doorstep and need to enhance their competitiveness.

"I want to acknowledge the support of the Retail Forum members over the past two years in clearly articulating the needs of the retail sector so that we can put in place an initial response to some of the challenges Irish-owned retailers are facing to maintain and grow their market share."

The Online Retail Competitive Scheme will offer retailers grants of between €10,000 to €25,000 on a match fund basis.

It aims to encourage the Irish retail sector to develop a more competitive online offer, that will see an increase in their customer base and build a more resilient business both online and offline.

Applications for funding can include research, strategy development, implementation and training.

At least 50% of the total number of grants awarded will be reserved for retail SMEs with their headquarters outside of county Dublin.

Applicant companies must be an Irish-owned small or medium-sized retail enterprise, and have an existing online presence (e.g. website or social media).

They must also have a retail outlet and and employ at least 20 workers on a full-time equivalent basis.

The scheme will open at the end of October.