Retail Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the retail sector, today welcomed the official opening for applications of a new online scheme aimed at supporting small retailers establish and upweight their online presence. The pilot scheme, to be administered by Enterprise Ireland, seeks to support eligible SMEs to increase their customer base and build a more resilient business in the domestic and global marketplace, both online and offline. The initial €1.25m scheme consists of a financial support of up to €25k to enable retailers to enhance their online presence.
Retail Ireland Director Thomas Burke said: “While no single intervention will solve the challenge posed by the emergence of digital commerce in recent years to traditional bricks and mortar retailers, today’s announcement marks a significant step forward by Government in firstly acknowledging the challenge faced by the Irish retail sector and secondly by beginning to put in place supports for Ireland’s largest private sector employer.
“Retail Ireland has been calling for the provision of further supports for the retail sector over recent years in order to help the sector face the emerging online challenge. Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphries TD, and her Department are to be commended for establishing this scheme which will help small retailers realise the potential within their businesses and place them on a stronger footing to address the many challenges arising from the digital world.
“We hope this will be the first of a number of supports put in place by Government to support the sector in this area and Retail Ireland looks forward to working with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, as well as Enterprise Ireland, to make this pilot programme a great success.”