Údarás na Gaeltachta has announced a fund of €150,000 for small Gaeltacht businesses to support them to do more business online. An online trading voucher worth €2,500 or 50% of eligible costs will be available to assist 60 companies or organisations to grow their sales online also.
The aim of the scheme is to increase the number of Gaeltacht companies trading online as well as growing their online sales. The Online Trading Scheme will enable Gaeltacht companies to develop and strengthen their online trading.
There was an unprecedented demand for the scheme during 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and 263 applications for support were approved – 118 in the Western region(Galway, Mayo, Meath), 74 in the Southern region (Kerry, Cork, Waterford) and 71 in the Northern region (Donegal). The scheme has given valuable support to both small and larger Gaeltacht companies since it was first launched in 2017, to assist them in securing new markets, while enhancing further sales of services and products online, and, as a result, stabilising and developing employment during that period.
Speaking at the relaunch of the scheme, Údarás na Gaeltachta Chairperson Anna Ní Ghallachair said:
“The Board of Údarás na Gaeltacht are pleased to approve this funding in order to reopen the Online Trading Scheme for 2021. The scheme has provided significant assistance to small Gaeltacht companies in recent years, and in particular over the past year, with the unexpected impact of COVID-19 on Gaeltacht and national companies. The scheme illustrated how important it was for a company to have an online presence and have the ability to sell online.”
Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Chief Executive Officer supported the Chairperson’s comments:
“The Online Trading Scheme assisted companies who found themselves in a dire situation over the past year and has shown that companies have an opportunity to secure new markets and enhance their online services and products. This grant support will inspire companies to be more creative and provide new products and services to consumers not only at home but further afield also.”
The scheme is open to companies with up to 10 employees, which have been trading for the past 6 months, with an annual turnover of less than €2m who wish to develop an ecommerce internet site (rather than a marketing site).
Applications will be accepted from Gaeltacht social enterprises and organisations in the Gaeltacht community development sector as long as the application is on a trading basis.
Further information regarding the scheme can be found at Online Trading Scheme