128 Trading Online Vouchers were awarded to businesses across Wicklow in 2021 to the value of €268,000 to assist them in developing their online presence, Wicklow Fine Gael Minister Simon Harris TD has confirmed.
The vouchers were awarded by Wicklow Local Enterprise Office as the digital transformation journey continues for firms looking to increase sales, reach new markets, and help create more employment opportunities.
Minister Harris said, “I am very grateful of the work carried out by the entire Wicklow LEO team in 2021 and for helping maintain momentum for many small businesses looking to trade their goods and services online.
“The Trading Online Voucher Scheme, funded by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, offers a 50% co-funded voucher of up to €2,500 to help businesses, which have been trading for at least six months. This assists them in developing their online trading capability and includes training sessions that cover various topics, including developing a website, digital marketing, social media for business and search engine optimisation.
“Between 1st January 2021 and 31st December 2021, on a national basis, the Trading Online Voucher Scheme had a total of 4,442 approvals across Ireland to a value in excess of €9.6 million. This includes 128 trading online vouchers awarded to businesses in Wicklow with a value of approvals worth €268,000.
“This is strong evidence of the success of the scheme and the demand for the vouchers across the micro-enterprise sector.”
Minister for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English TD, has confirmed he is satisfied that the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, a demand led support scheme for businesses, will continue to be a key component in the suite of interventions to assist micro-enterprises to develop and flourish in the years ahead. Minister English urged local businesses to engage with their LEO about getting their business online.
The local business community in Wicklow was also offered a vast range of training, mentoring and financial support opportunities by the LEO which suited their specific business requirements.
Minister Harris confirmed that “In 2021, the Wicklow LEO matched 57 businesses with expert guidance on their Mentoring Programme. This is a valuable and free service open to client companies of the local enterprise support agency. The programme is designed to match up the knowledge, skills, insights and entrepreneurial capability of experienced business practitioners with small firms who stand to benefit from one-to-one advice and guidance.”
On the training opportunities provided by the Wicklow LEO, Minister Harris continued, “Last year, some 878 people participated in the wide range of one-day workshops, seminars and management development programmes. Many of the business owners who participated in these programmes demonstrated their determination to succeed, their appetite to grow and ultimately their ambition to create more job opportunities locally.”
Minister Harris concluded by saying, “The Wicklow LEO is a very valuable first-stop shop which provides support and services for those who are looking to start, grow and develop a business in the county. I would urge early engagement by interested entrepreneurs to help get their business off the ground with the added value of the Local Enterprise Office’s knowledge, networks and advice behind their venture.”