Trading Online Voucher Scheme – €2,500 Grant Available

In this article, we will briefly explain what the Trading Online Voucher Scheme is, and how you can apply for the grant to save up to €2,500 off digital marketing services for your business.

What Is The Trading Online Voucher Scheme

he Trading Online Voucher scheme is designed to assist small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets. By participating in this scheme, you can make the process of trading online much easier for you. 

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme offers financial assistance of up to €2,500 with co-funding of 50% from the business along with training and advice to help your business trade online. Cutting the cost of developing your online trading capacity by up to 50% can make this investment much more affordable for small business owners in Ireland. 

Businesses that have already received a Trading Online Voucher can now apply for a second voucher, where upgrades are required. Funding can be used towards adding payment facilities or booking systems to your website or developing new apps for your customers. The voucher can also be used towards subscriptions to low cost online retail platform solutions, to help companies quickly establish a retailing presence online. 

Trading Online Voucher Scheme:

  • Limited or no e-commerce presence;
  • 10 or less employees;
  • Turnover less than €2;
  • Applicant business must be trading for at least 6 months
  • Businesses must be located in the area covered by the LEO to whom they make their application (LEO’s cannot accept applications from businesses located outside their jurisdiction. 

It’s important to note that previous voucher recipients may also apply for a second voucher. Previous voucher recipients cannot apply for a second boucher before they have submitted their final claim for their first voucher. Applicant businesses must provide clear proof of trading for a minimum of 6 months to their Local Enterprise Office.

How To Apply For Trading Online Voucher

Decide What Service You Require

Your first step in applying for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme is deciding which service you require. For example, if you currently have an old, standard website that only offers information with no ecommerce functionality, you may need to upgrade your ecommerce functionality. This will allow customers to purchase products and pay for services through your website. 

Perhaps you’re looking for different ways to reach new customers and generate new leads. If this is the case, then you may choose to invest in your digital marketing strategy, such as Search Engine Optimization and Online Advertising. 

Here are some Digital Marketing services that you may require in order to grow your business online. Remember to do your own research and consult with digital marketing professionals when deciding what the appropriate course of action for your business is. 

Digital Marketing Services:

Receive Three Quotations

Once you have decided what your business objectives are, then you will need to receive three quotations from three separate service providers. 

These suppliers must be registered companies, such as VIMAR Digital Marketing. Freelancers do not qualify. 

Choosing a partner to help grow your business online is probably the most important and significant step required. We’ve put together an article that will guide you through the process of choosing a digital marketing partner. Here at VIMAR Digital Marketing, we are an experienced team or digital marketers based in Co. Laois, Ireland. We’ve successfully helped clients both big and small improve their digital marketing strategies throughout Ireland. 

If you would like to learn more about VIMAR and see if we’re a good fit for your business, you can schedule a FREE Consultation with a member of our team today 👉 [email protected]

You will need to receive quotes from three different suppliers to apply for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme. In some cases, it will not make sense to receive three separate quotations. For example, if you’re looking to get a new website built and also improve your digital marketing strategy, but only one agency can offer both, then you can contact your LEO and they may make an exception for your application and you will only require one quote.

Attend Information Webinar

Before your grant application is accepted, you will need to apply for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme through the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) website from which you’re applying. The information webinar is between 2-3 hours in duration, depending on your local LEO. 

During this information webinar, you will receive information about developing a website, reaching new customers and markets through digital marketing, social media marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Submit Application Form

Your final step requires filling out and submitting an application form to your Local Enterprise Office in order to receive the Trading Online Voucher Scheme. The application form must be typed. Handwritten forms will not be accepted. 

The application form will ask for various information such as your company, the nature of your products/services, and the project you wish to complete.

How To Download The Application Form

The Trading Online Voucher Application Form will be emailed to you after you attend the webinar (assuming you are eligible for the scheme). 

For example, if you’re applying from Co. Laois, you can use the application form here. For businesses outside of Co. Laois, you will need to visit your local LEO website.

Filling Out The Application Form

The questions on the application form are self-explanatory and a description is provided for each question.

Company Information: You will be asked to provide the following information about your company;

  • Name
  • Company name
  • Company address
  • Telephone
  • Mobile
  • Email
  • Website address – you can still apply if you don’t have a website
  • Business type
  • CRO Number or satisfactory evidence of trading for at least 12 months if unregistered (e.g. sole trader)
  • Year business was established
  • How long has the business been trading?

Describe your Business: You will be asked to describe your business products/services. In this section, you should provide an overview of all your business activities. This section should be no more than 150 words.

Describe your Trading Online Project: The next section in the application form is directly about the trading online project. What is it that your business expects this project to do that will help your business? Some examples of your answer might include: create ecommerce functionality, generate new leads, or handle online customer service. 

Be as specific as possible. This section should be no more than 150 words.

Develop a Project Plan: Next, you’ll be asked questions that will form your “project plan”:

  • Unique Selling Point(s) of your Products/Services/Business processes targeted in this project. Look at your online competitors, decide what products/services you will focus on – not all of them need to be traded online. Why did you select what you have? This section should be no more than 150 words.
  • Your Target Market through this project. Who are your customers going to be? (i.e. what customers will you target through your online channels? This section should be no more than 150 words.
  • Trading online competitors. On Google, search for your products/services and write down the main 3 to 5 competitors (with a link to their websites) that offer competing products/services.
  • Scope of work to be carried out. What are the specific deliverables of the project relating back to the business objectives? Describe the work to be undertaken in this project. This section should be no more than 150 words.

Business Investment: This section will help your local LEO understand what investment your business is making in this project.

  • Internal resources brought to the project
  • External resources brought to the project
  • Existing Assets the project should leverage off. What additional information can you provide to help suppliers assist you? Social media presence you want to leverage? Design material? Photographs? Brand & marketing material?

Projected Outcomes: This section will ask for business and financial forecasts for the next 12 months, assuming you implement your project plan.

  • Market expansion potential. What impact will the trading online project have on your business in terms of employment, revenue and ability to export? Based on your target market and competitor analysis, how will this project help you grow your revenue? Export potential? Gain back lost market share to existing online traders? Your answer should be 150 words or fewer.
  • Annual turnover (current and projected for the next 12 months)
  • Number of full-time employees (current and projected for the next 12 months)
  • Number of part-time employees (current and projected for the next 12 months)

Project Elements for Grant Support: Check all of the boxes that apply for the work you are seeking to have done by external service providers.

Example of Digital Marketing services:

Project Costs: Your expenditure for your Trading Online project.

  • For each of your three suppliers, fill out the product/service they are providing, the service provider’s name, and the cost in Euro (excluding VAT).
  • Expected Trading Online Voucher requested amount. This is how much money you would like to request through the scheme for your project. Remember, the maximum voucher award is €2,500.

Additional Documents to Send With Your Application

In addition to the completed application form, you will also need to submit:

  • Copy of a quotation from three different suppliers
  • Evidence of duration of trading

If you can’t provide the three quotes, for example, if there are multiple project components and getting three quotes is ‘overly burdensome’, this requirement might be waived. The application will then be evaluated based on the quotes available. If this is your case, it is recommended that you consult with LEO before applying.


Submitting Your Trading Online Voucher Scheme Application

Save your application form as a PDF and email it to your Local Enterprise Office. You can find the email address of your LEO on their website contact page.

That’s it! Now, you wait 1-4 weeks to hear back from your LEO on whether or not you’ve been approved for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme.

We hope you found this article useful in explaining the process of applying for the Trading Online Voucher. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us directly 👉 [email protected]