Over 100 businesses in Galway have availed of supports under the Trading Online Voucher Scheme.
Operated through the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and funded by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme offers a financial incentive of up to €2,500 to small businesses to develop their online trading capacity, along with training, mentoring and support.
Under the Trading Online Voucher Scheme over €240,000 has been allocated to Galway businesses to help them develop an online retailing presence. By the end of June this year €155,301 of the allocation had been put to use by Galway businesses.
The importance of the online marketplace for small, local businesses cannot be overestimated. Research commissioned by my Department, and carried out by Indecon, shows that the digital economy represents 6% of Ireland’s GDP and that Irish consumers are spending €850,000 per hour every day online. However, an estimated 70% of this goes abroad.
With the Trading Online Voucher Scheme we are aiming to retain more the online spend in Ireland by helping businesses to launch or develop an online sales facility for customers both here and abroad. Since the Scheme’s introduction in 2014 €5.6 million has been allocated to achieve these aims.
I am very encouraged by the results which I believe show that the Scheme is having a positive impact and is attracting small businesses from a wide range of sectors including retail, arts, design, food and professional services.
I have asked my officials to look at ways we can build on the progress achieved to date including increasing the number of vouchers available annually and expanding the scope of the Scheme.”