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Retail Excellence welcomes Online Retail Scheme funding for retailers

Retail Excellence, the largest retail body in Ireland, has welcomed today’s announcement of funding for 145 successful applicants to the Enterprise Ireland (EI) Online Retail Scheme.

This scheme helps retailers move their business operations online and will have a significant impact for struggling companies in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Today’s announcement has confirmed funding of €5.3 million for retailers out of a total fund of €10 million. The average grant value announced today was €36,700, with 70 successful applicants based outside Dublin. More than a third of successful applicants (50) are Retail Excellence members.

Speaking today, Duncan Graham, Managing Director of Retail Excellence, said: “We welcome today’s announcement from Enterprise Ireland’s Online Retail Scheme. This will be a big help to retailers who are struggling badly as a result of Covid-19 restrictions, especially given that almost half of the successful applicants are based outside Dublin. Now it is crucial that Irish people ‘shop local’ in the weeks ahead.”

However, Mr Graham said that not all retailers could easily sell goods online and that the Government now needed to help promote the drive to buy Irish in the weeks and months ahead. “We have taken a promising first step with this announcement, and the Government must follow this by dedicating funding to drive a campaign for Irish people to shop local – online and in shops – in the run-up to Christmas. Not all retailers can make a quick transition to selling online, and the entire industry needs all the help it can get if it is to recover in 2021.”

Mr Graham added that he hoped the next funding round includes businesses in the hospitality sector as well as retailers with fewer than 10 full-time employees.