Trading online vouchers seem to be a hot topic today and I have received many questions on the subject. Most often, people just want to know what the online trading voucher scheme is, if they are eligible for them, and, if so, how one can apply for them.
So, in the following article, I will shed some light on the subject of online vouchers and these questions specifically. By the end of the reading, you will have gathered some important information on a very useful source of funding for taking your modern business to new heights.
It has been estimated that only about a quarter of Irish businesses are lucratively involved in e-Commerce sales. Businesses with less than 10 employees will be seeing a lower fraction. It has also been estimated that as much as 70% of online shopping in Ireland is being done in overseas markets.
The situation has reached the point that the government has asked businesses to recognize the gravity of the state of affairs. They urge businesses to respond to the crisis with advanced digital technology.
The National Digital Strategy has a mission to raise the number of Irish companies doing business online. To incentivize the plan, the DCDER (Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, has initiated the Trading Voucher Programme. The DCDER has partnered up with Local Enterprise Offices to make this available to Irish Businesses.
If you are interested in taking advantage of this voucher scheme, the first thing to do is attend an obligatory seminar. These informative seminars will provide a comprehensive explanation of the voucher, the purpose of the scheme, and how Irish businesses can get the most value from the application.
Trading Online Voucher Scheme (LEO Voucher) – Who is it for?
The voucher offers dental clinics, for example, to get the support they need in these especially difficult times. Not only will they be allowed to update technology, but it also assists with marketing and merchandising so their business can gain traction on their road to success.
But there are some limitations to this offer. For one, you must be able to prove that your business was in operation for a full six months before your applications. You must also run an office with ten or fewer employees throughout its entire operations, and your company’s annual turnover must be 2Million Euros or less.
Businesses who have already used a voucher, can then apply for a different award — this is a great opportunity to get a leg up on the competition in this challenging economy.
Trading Online Voucher Scheme – Why was it created?
Now is a good time to build an online business with the support of the Government’s National Digital Strategy. The Trading Online Voucher Scheme, or TOV Scheme, is designed to help those smaller businesses with less than 10 employees, to increase their sales and reach greater markets.
Taking full advantage of this scheme can greatly facilitate your online trading. This will have long-term and short-term benefits. Studies have shown that as much as 70% of online shoppers in Ireland are doing business with foreign markets.
As a result of this, the Government created the TOV scheme in 2014. This was done in response to reports that much of the online shopping in Ireland was not favoring local markets. It was also noted that very few Irish businesses could sell their products or services online.
LEO Trading Voucher Scheme Application
The process for applying for the voucher will be a competitive one. The application form is a lengthy questionnaire about your business and operations. It is a good idea to visit one of the informative seminars on the TOV Scheme to get some important insights on the conditions for getting this process right. Furthermore, it is a condition that you attend one of these seminars to apply for the voucher. During the seminar, you will be introduced to the purpose of the scheme and what you can do to get full value from the voucher.
After you have attended an Informational Seminar, you can submit the completed form and signed application to your local LEO. Note that your application must be submitted to a local LEO. In other words, the LEO must have jurisdiction over the area in which you operate.
Who can apply for a Trading Online Voucher Application?
The TOV Scheme is Designed for small businesses in Ireland with an employee count of 10 or less and an annual turnover of 2 Million Euros or less.
Here is a list of the requirements to apply for the Trading Online Voucher Scheme:
The two most important considerations will be
– The maximum value for the voucher is €2,500 or about 50% of the full expense of the Voucher
– You must get approval before you can incur any expense.
The full terms to consider for the online trading voucher are:
- Limited Online Trading presence
- Turnover under €2m
- Less than 10 employees
- At least 6 months in Business
- located under the jurisdiction of an LEO participating in the TOV scheme
How to make the best use of your trading online voucher
The TOV Scheme provides an incentive that can financially support a small business in development that will facilitate their progress on the digital frontier.
This grant can be used for several important purposes. While most people know that the voucher can be used for developing and building websites, it can also be used to create your overall digital strategy.
Not sure where you will begin? You can use Springboard to help you build an online digital strategy. You can find resources on important points like the pillars of conversations, developing a messaging service, and selecting the right channels. In the end, you will be guided to the creation and introduction of your social media campaigns and digital channels used to convey your business and business tone and culture.
WHAT CAN THE TRADING ONLINE VOUCHER BE USED FOR?
- IT consultation
- Online payments or booking systems
- Internet-related software
- Development of e-commerce websites
- Advertising can only be less than 30% of the Voucher value.
- App developing
- Implementation of digital marketing strategies – Social media marketing
- Consultation with ICT experts for early stage adopters of online strategy
- Specialist training for the management of online trading activities — 3rd parties must do the work. Your own labor is not an eligible expense.
- Companies with charitable status, “not for profit” organizations, trade associations, and company representation (Chambers of Commerce) are not eligible for the voucher initiative.
- Professional IT-type services with online trade capacity.
- Conferences and Seminars
- Support for projects which would be eligible for assistance from other EU funded Operational Programmes
- Projects with over 10 employees
- Projects deemed to be capable of proceeding without scheme assistance
- Importation and distribution projects
How Does It Work?
To begin your process, come into an LEO – Trading Online Voucher scheme seminar and fill out your form!
SCHEDULE A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION — we will work with you to examine your business and determine its eligibility. We can also assist you in determining the online needs of your business in terms of its current location in the markets.
LOCAL ENTERPRISE IS HERE FOR YOU — we will reserve your spot at the obligatory 3-hour webinar which will also provide you with the necessary forms. We can then assist in filling out this form and provide you with a ballpark estimate of what your website will cost.
GET STARTED WITH A WEB DESIGN GRANT
Once you have successfully applied, you will be sent an authorization letter from the local LEO. Your Local Enterprise Office can provide you with a great wealth of supporting services in bringing your business into the digital realm. If you have already received one voucher, we can help you apply for a second.