Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme

Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme

What is the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme?

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) has proposed this Scheme in response to the Covid-19 crisis and the urgent need for retail companies to achieve a step change in online capability.

This is a Competitive Fund which will be administered by Enterprise Ireland on behalf of DBEI with a total fund size of €5.5m.

Applications for funding are invited through a public Call for submission of projects.

Due to a high level of interest strict adherence will be given to the deadline for receipt of applications together with statutory accounts.

The purpose of this fund is to enable Irish-owned retailers to enhance their digital capability and to develop a more competitive online offer that will enable an increase in their customer base and build a more resilient business in the domestic and global marketplace, both online and offline.

Successful applicants will be awarded funding to support a maximum of 80% of the project eligible costs with a maximum grant of €40,000.

Typical elements involved in developing a sophisticated and transactional online presence include research, consultancy costs for strategy development, implementation and training.

Who can apply for the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme?

The applicant must be an Irish-owned retail enterprise that had 10 or more full-time employees on a full-time equivalent basis on or before 29 February 2020 and has the potential to sustain or create jobs, generate growth in online transactions and with an ambition to internationalise their business in future. An application must be submitted in the name of a company registered with the Companies Registration Office and incorporated in the Republic of Ireland at the time of application. The business must also:

Online Retail Scheme

The COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme is NOT open to the following:

Eligible Activities for the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme

Typical elements involved in developing a sophisticated and transactional online presence include:


Strategy development:


Costs regarding the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme

Successful applicants will be awarded funding to support a maximum of 80% of the project costs.

The minimum grant amount payable is €10,000 under this Scheme.

Therefore, applications which do not propose company expenditure on the project of a minimum of €12,500 will be considered ineligible (the grant will reimburse up to 80% of eligible expenditure as set out below);

All eligible costs are required to be directly related to the implementation of the work programme.

Eligible costs include:

Ineligible costs include:

Eligible Expenditures and Limits for the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme

Expenditure claimed must be incurred by the legal entity to which the grant is offered

Salaries and Overheads:

Consultancy Fees:

Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme Webinar

Please note: This recorded webinar from September 7th, 2020, outlines the application and evaluation process for the current call for applications for grant assistance.

It is worth setting aside some time to watch this as it contains a breakdown of each stage of the process and could greatly help with your ability to be eligable for the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme.

If you prefer to see a PDF of the slides, that can be found here.

How do I apply?

Application must be made via the Enterprise Ireland Online Application System during the Call open dates.

Please note that together with the online application companies MUST provide latest statutory accounts (no more than 2 years old) directly to Enterprise Ireland before the call close date.

Upon submission of the Online Application Form you will receive an email with details of where to submit these accounts.

When is the call closing date?

How is my application evaluated?

Enterprise Ireland will carry out an evaluation of all eligible applications using the following criteria:

Evaluation Criteria

35% – Quality of the proposal and the potential impact on the business demonstrated in the proposal

35% – Impact of proposed changes on the competitive position and viability of the company

20% – Ambition to internationalise the business

10%  The company’s financial track record


For information, download Scoring Criteria for Online Retail Scheme (Word format)

All applicants will be notified by email of the result of this assessment following evaluation of the Call.

Statistics relating to the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme

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