If you are based in Ireland you can apply for an ‘Trading Online Voucher’ that can help you fund part of your online marketing, including your strategy.
Carmel Seery tells us how to apply and what’s involved in this post.
Have you heard of the Trading Online Voucher?
Did you know that only 23% of small Irish businesses are engaged in any meaningful way with selling online? For businesses employing less than ten people this percentage could be even lower.
It is now believed that of online purchases made in Ireland that 70% of these are done in overseas markets.
That’s a lot of money going out of the country, right?
In response to this The Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) has launched a Trading Online Voucher Programme (TOV) and has teamed up with the Local Enterprise Offices to deliver this to Irish business.
What is the Trading Online Voucher (TOV)?
This is a grant that offers cash back of up to 50% of qualifying costs up to €2,500 when you bring your business online and build a website.
Cutting the cost of developing your online trading capacity by up to 50% can make the investment very affordable for many small businesses.
What is the process?
To qualify for the scheme, businesses must have:
- No more than 10 employees;
- Less than €2m in turnover;
- Be trading for at least 6 months and
- Be located in the region of the local enterprise office to whom they are applying.
TOV Application Process Includes attending TOV info Seminar and Application Form:
1. Trading Online Voucher Information Seminar
Those wishing to avail of a voucher, must attend a Trading Online Voucher Information seminar. At each seminar attendees will be informed of the purpose of the scheme and how best to use and get value from the application of the voucher.
Information sessions cover various topics, including developing a website, digital marketing, social media for business and search engine optimisation. The information provided is impartial and will help you decide on what trading online options, are right for your business.
2. Submit Application Form
Only those people who attend the trading online voucher information seminar and meet the eligibility criteria will be sent an application form to apply for a voucher from our LEO.
What can you use the voucher for?
Only expenses dated after you have been approved will be accepted. You will also have to provide a bank statement to show you have paid for the services invoiced. The following items are included in the allowable expenses:
- 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 any more than 30% of approved Voucher 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
Contact your Local Enterprise Office and ask them about their next Trading Online Voucher Information Seminar.
This seminar is mandatory, however, it is breaks the process down for you so well worth doing. Even if you think you are not ready yet, LEO keeps a record of your attendance so when you are ready, they will send you the application.
Best of luck!
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As a qualified Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) with over 20 years’ experience working in many different industries, Carmel has built up an extensive knowledge on how businesses work.
Having branched out on her own, she works with entrepreneurs and small business owners to solidify their strategies and understand their numbers.
She is an experienced tutor and trainer and has taught the Accounting Technician and Start Your Own Business course, she created a 6 week in person Accounting for New Businesses as well as an online course ‘Fall in Love with Finance‘. This has given her an excellent understanding of what SME’s and entrepreneurs tend to struggle with most.
Carmel will love to find out more about your business and how she can help you, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting out or in business for years? – check out Carmel’s top 5 accounting tips, something for everyone.