€377,468 has so far been granted to 162 businesses across Laois and Offaly in 2020 through the Trading Online Voucher Scheme.
The Trading Online Voucher Scheme is designed to help support small and micro-business to develop their online presence.
As part of this, there is a grant available of up to €2,500 to help them develop or enhance their ability to trade online.
In addition, as part of the scheme, small and micro businesses can avail of peer to peer advice and support through the Local Enterprise Offices – all very important as Covid-19 restrictions are set to extend well into the next month and possible beyond.
Welcoming the news, Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan said: “I am pleased to say that €377,468 was granted to 162 Laois businesses through the Trading Online Voucher Scheme.
“It is great to see local businesses developing and expanding their online offering, particularly during this challenging pandemic as it has offered a new route to market for many businesses affected by closures.
“It is for this reason that funding for the Scheme was increased from €2.3m to €39.8m in 2020 to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19.
“The Government also introduced new flexibilities to the Scheme including reducing the requirement for co-funding and allowing businesses to apply for a second voucher where they have successfully utilised their first one.”
Mr Flanagan said the scheme is still accepting new applicants and encouraged other businesses to apply.
He said: “I encourage any businesses in Laois and Offaly that have not yet applied for this Scheme to do so.
“In order to be eligible, an applicant business must have a limited online trading presence; 10 or less employees; turnover of less than €2 million; and must be trading for at least 6 months. Businesses should contact their local Enterprise Office for more information on how to apply.”