Businesses in Waterford received funding of €354,123 from the Online Retail Scheme to date through grants of between €10,000 and €25,000, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
The Online Retail Scheme was first launched in 2018 to aid retailers in increasing their customer base and extending their offering to include an online platform. The Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme was set up in response to the pandemic and the urgent need for retailers to increase their online capability. To date, the Scheme has provided funding of over €19 million to more than 500 businesses across the country.
Senator Cummins said, “Businesses across Waterford have benefited from the Online Retail Scheme since its inception in 2018, but it’s been of particular help to retailers over the past 18 months as it allowed them to continue trading while their doors were shut.
“Businesses that had never traded online previously had to completely pivot their businesses when the country went into lockdown last year and were able to do so with the help of funding from the Scheme.
“I’m delighted to say today that Waterford businesses have received €354,123 in funding through the Scheme to date and I would like to see a far higher take up in the time ahead. For many of these retailers, the ability to trade online was the most significant factor in keeping their businesses open and protecting local jobs.
“The three rounds of the Online Retail Scheme to date are currently being reviewed and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar recently signalled his intention to open a further round of applications for funding later this year and I would certainly like to see far more Waterford businesses avail of the scheme.
“In addition to the Online Retail Scheme, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, administered by Local Enterprise Offices, offers vouchers of up to €2,500 to help businesses develop their online trading capabilities.
“I would encourage any business in Waterford that has not already applied for the voucher to contact the Waterford Local Enterprise Office to find out more about the application process,” Senator Cummins concluded.