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Covid-19_ The Adverse Impact

Irish Government Announces COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme to Support Indigenous Irish Retailers

The time has finally arrived for the retail sector to go online and cope up with the global crisis to sustain their business and ride out the pandemic into a golden future. The Ministry for Business, Enterprise and Innovation (aka DBEI), headed by Heather Humphreys, has recently opened up applications for a new Online Retail Scheme. Under it, the DBEI strives to fund €40,000 to eligible retailers, who wish to achieve business continuity and lay their foundations for future growth and recovery post the global crisis. So, if you own a retail business in the Irish Economy then here's your chance to step up the game and boost your online capability. On successful application for the scheme, businesses can now claim 80% of the project costs of up to €40,000 and at least €10,000 under the competitive call. But, of course, there are some terms and conditions, which you have to be conversant of. Let's check if you are eligible for it and peruse the details of the scheme in the upcoming sections.

Eligibility Criteria for Availing COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme
  • Your business should be an Irish-owned retail enterprise
  • Have at least 10 employees working under you on or before 29 th February 2020
  • Have the capacity to create and support jobs
  • Have the vision to internationalise your business in the coming years
  • Strive to generate growth in online transactions
  • Already have a website or social media presence

These are just a few of the criteria that you have to fulfill to seek the benefits of the scheme. So, if your business ticks all the boxes, congratulations! Your chance of gaining from the scheme looks promising. To proceed, submit your application on behalf of a registered company with the Companies Registration Office.

Heather Humphreys' Views on the Online Retail Scheme

The head of the DBEI believes that the Irish retail sector has been affected since the wake of the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. Given the solemnity of the situation, she anticipates that the launch of the Online Retail Scheme shall be a relief for indigenous Irish retailers, for whom, chances of surviving through the crisis was bleak, even a few days back. She conveys to all that the prompt switch to online trading will both boost revenues of participants and act on the resilience of their business. She even appeals to all retailers to go online so that they can sustain in the future and work together to meet the consumer demand through prompt delivery without hampering the latest norms of social distancing and home working. Lastly, she acknowledges the efforts put in by retail outlets and their supply chain to meet the daily requirements of people and seeks their support during challenging times.

Spotlight on Eligible Activities under the Scheme

As a retail business upgrading to online trading, the following should be the elements for improving your transactional online presence:


Every company in the retail sector should assess the current situation and uncover the best roadmap to achieving success in the online retail scheme. This is where 'research' plays its part. If you are to develop your online strategy and make an informed decision, do your research well.

Strategy Development

Apart from research, strategy development is necessary to leverage online potential, position brand, and create omnichannel offerings.


Strategy implementation is also obligatory for one's plans to take flight. Under it, activities like search engine optimisation, enhancement in business processes and improvements in the website and the back end system must be covered.

Eligible Costs to be Reimbursed Partially by the Irish Government

As stated in the introductory part of the write-up, the Online Retail Scheme plans to award successful applicants a grant of up to €40,000 on showing a company expenditure of a minimum €12,500 on the project. Such costs will be eligible only if it covers the following:

  • Salary of Senior Project Champion in the managerial level
  • Fees of External Service Provider working together to develop a digital strategy
  • Additional fees to the External Service Provider, working to enhance your business' online presence
  • Expenses involved in conducting in-house training, headed by an External Provider to help the company soar high in the online retail operation.
Final Thoughts:

Have you applied for the Retail Scheme yet? Hurry! The call closes on 27 th May 2020 at 3 p.m. If you are interested in online trading and wish to seek the support of the Irish Government then act accordingly. Plus Promotions can help you with the application and brief.