Press Releases

Online Trading Scheme (COVID19)

The Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta approved additional COVID-19 business support funds recently to provide practical support to Gaeltacht businesses experiencing significant pressures as a result of COVID-19.

The Online Trading Scheme is being provided to support Gaeltacht businesses that are under pressure due to COVID-19 crisis. This scheme was introduced originally in 2017 in order to increase the number of Gaeltacht businesses trading online and to increase Gaeltacht business sales online. Along with the normal demand for this support, it recognises the present exceptional circumstances as a result of COVID-19, and that businesses are under pressure and wish to develop their ability to do conduct their business online. This scheme has been a valuable support to businesses big and small over the past three years to enhance their capability to trade ‘online’ and, as a result of this, to stabilise and develop the employment foundation during this period.

Grant Rate and Amount

Under the Online Trading Scheme a maximum grant of up to €2,500 or 90% of eligible expenses, excluding VAT, whichever is lower, is available to eligible businesses to develop and strengthen their ability to trade ‘online’.

Eligibility Criteria

The scheme is targeted at businesses with the following profile:

  • Those who currently have a limited online trading presence;
  • Applicant business must be trading for at least 12 months prior to date of application;
  • Applications will be accepted from private businesses and from community based or social enterprises once they are operating on a commercial basis.

What can the grant be used for?

  • IT consultation;
  • Development or upgrade of an e-commerce website;
  • Implementing Online payments or booking systems;
  • Purchase of Internet related software;
  • Purchase of online advertising (this purchase cannot make up more than 30% of approved Scheme costs and can only be drawn down in one payment phase);
  • Developing an app (or multiplatform webpages);
  • Development of a digital marketing strategy;
  • Implementing a digital marketing strategy;
  • Training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an on-line trading activity.

Evaluation

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Value added potential
  • Export potential
  • Job creation potential
  • Financial Sustainability

What projects are ineligible under this scheme?

  • Professional services specialising in IT type services who are already capable of trading online using existing in-house systems;
  • One-off projects such as conferences and seminars, tourism festivals etc.
  • Duplication of support for projects which would be eligible for assistance from other State Agencies of EU funded Operational Programmes;
  • Projects deemed to be capable of proceeding in any event without scheme assistance i. e deadweight

What are the things this scheme cannot be used for?

  • Development of brochure websites;
  • Purchase of non-internet related software;
  • Anything other than online trading related activity.

Information regarding Scheme administration

  • Scheme approval must be gained prior to incurring any expense. It is in writing that Údarás na Gaeltachta confirms scheme approval for the applicant in question. Applicants must return signed letter of offer.
  • Own labour is not an eligible expense.
  • Only third party supplier costs which have been chosen and stated on the application will be included.
  • All third party/supplier invoices must contain proper business details (e.g. Tax and Business Registration details to prove supplier is registered as a business in the place that they are located).
  • Each relevant supporting document should accompany the application form:
    • Copy of estimates from three suppliers along with details of the work that is to be carried out and the costs associated with it;
    • Evidence of duration of trading if the business is not registered or if applicant is a sole trader;
    • Application can be declined on failure to provide supporting documents;
  • Applicants must submit one claim only at the end of the project.
  • Applicants should retain all relevant paperwork during the project to assist them in processing their own claim at the end of the project, including: applicant Tax Clearance Certificate, the original invoice from the supplier, evidence that the supplier has been paid and Declaration of project completion by supplier.
  • Businesses who have previously received support under this scheme can now make a second application in the case of an upgrade.

Údarás na Gaeltachta Online Trading Scheme – APPLICATION FORM

Send your completed application form to Tradala@udaras.ie