Archive for the ‘Irish Economy’ Category

HR – When the chips are down what kind of employer are you?

April 26, 2020

HR in a crisis

We all know the story .. on the 12th March, the country was effectively shut down except for essential services.

It was a time when each and every single employer in the country had to figure out really quickly what they needed to do to protect the business during this uncertain shut down period – how long would it go on for, how many bills do I have, how much money do I have in the kitty, how much do I need to survive?

All huge questions and with no simple answers and no playbook to refer to.

What we did next reflects who we are, who the business is, our values, our ethos.

A week later, I checked in on a good friend of mine who worked as a baker in a coffee shop (part of a  small but well known chain) around the corner from our office, just to make sure that he was OK.

What he shared with me was a tale of two very different HR philosophies and two very different approaches to their employees.

On exactly the same day he was given notice by his employer and his partner who manages a creche was also told that her place of business was closing because of the “lock-down”.

However, there was a huge difference between both.

In his case he was “left go”, unceremoniously with no guidance towards where he should go to for supports and no word as to what his status would be when this “pause” was over. Effectively it was a P45.

In her case, she was also left go temporarily, but with absolute clarity that her role would still be there when things returned to normal, she was guided towards the supports she needed and the employer set up a WhatsApp group so that the team could stay in touch during the lock-down.

While both of these scenarios were identical, they couldn’t be any further apart.

I have sadly heard of so many cases where loyal employees were just cast away on the 12th March, with virtually no concern as to how they would put food on their tables next week.

Your team are your business, and how you treat them will absolutely determine how successful your business will be and how deep your team will dig for you when needed.

When the lights come back on, I know of a great guy and all of his colleagues who will be looking for a new opportunity, and I know of a great gal and all of her colleagues who be delighted to get back to work and will dig deep for their employer when the chips are down.

What type of employer are you?

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Supports are available for your Business

April 15, 2020

What a hard to believe, crazy time that we are all knee deep in!

For some it is incredibly busy, coping with fulfilling unprecedented demand in difficult circumstances, for some it is somewhat damaging and messy and for others this “pause” is devastating and real solutions are needed for immediate survival and to plan for a much needed return to some type of normal.

The Local Enterprise Office network has implemented a suite of support services to assist businesses at this time.

We would urge you to look carefully at these valuable supports, not only to assist you right now, but also to make your business stronger going into the future.

There are 31 Local Enterprise Offices around the country, all offering these additional supports:

A support we have found to be hugely beneficial for businesses throughout the years is the Trading Online Voucher Scheme

A second voucher is now available for businesses that have previously availed of this support over the years. Having a strong online presence has never been more important, so whether it’s improving your website and online shop to creating an app, we strongly advise you to check this out.

The Trading Online Voucher can also be used to support the below:

  • Website Creation
  • Digital Marketing
  • Social Media for Business
  • Search Engine Optimisation

To find more about the online trading voucher and the eligibility criteria visit www.localenterprise.ie and contact your local office.

If we can assist you to put a practical plan together in any of these areas give us a call and we will do everything we can to help.

As well as the Trading Online Voucher, there is a range of different supports available to businesses impacted by COVID-19.

An overview of all supports available:

Trading Online Voucher Scheme
Second voucher available

 

Can you do more business online?

The expanded Trading Online Voucher Scheme helps small businesses with up to 10 employees to trade more online, boost sales and reach new markets.

There is up to €2,500 available through the Local Enterprise Offices, with co-funding of 10% from the business. Funding can be used towards adding payment facilities or booking systems to your website or developing new apps for your customers.

The voucher can also be used towards subscriptions to low cost online retail platform solutions, to help companies quickly establish a retailing presence online.

 

Business Continuity Vouchers 
Apply for €2,500 in consultancy

The new Business Continuity Voucher is designed for businesses across every sector that employ up to 50 people.

The voucher is worth up to €2,500 in third party consultancy costs (at no cost to the company) and can be used by companies and sole traders to develop short-term and long-term strategies to respond to the business challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The goal is to help companies make informed decisions about what immediate measures and remedial actions should be taken, to protect staff and sales.

If we can be of assistance, please contact us and we will talk through the challenges you are facing.

LEO Financial Supports 
Grants for new and established businesses

 

COVID-19
Business Loans  

First 6 months are interest & repayment free
New low rate of 4.5% through the Local Enterprise Offices

The COVID-19 Business Loan from Microfinance Ireland (MFI), in partnership with Local Enterprise Offices, is a Government-funded initiative to support small businesses.

It’s designed for micro-enterprises that are a) having difficulty accessing Bank finance and b) impacted, or may be impacted negatively, by COVID-19 resulting in a reduction of 15% or more in turnover or profit.

To view loan features click here.

 

Lean for Micro
Become a Leaner business

LEAN for Micro is available to LEO clients to help build resilience within small companies.

Under this programme, clients can avail of consultancy support with a LEAN Expert (a qualified practitioner), who will work with the company to introduce lean principles, undertake a specific cost savings project and assist the company in benchmarking its performance. LEAN for Micro can also be used to help implement new remote working and physical distancing guidelines.

 

Mentoring Advice and guidance
Now free of charge 

Grants for new and established businesses

 
Under the Local Enterprise Office Mentor Programme, clients work with an experienced mentor to identify solutions to areas of exposure within their business. With advice and guidance from their mentor, clients develop strategies that are more robust, which address issues and maximise potential opportunities when the COVID-19 crisis comes to an end.
 

Training and Webinars 
Upskill and network remotely,
for free

Local Enterprise Offices have moved training programmes, workshops and networking meet-ups online, covering areas such as cash management in a crisis, leading your business through COVID-19 and advice for employers impacted by the crisis.

Training programmes are free of charge and places can be booked online, through your Local Enterprise Office.

 

LEO Financial Supports 
Grants for new and established businesses

For existing companies and potential start-ups that meet eligibility criteria (such as employing 10 or fewer people with the potential for growth and job creation), Local Enterprise Offices can also offer financial supports to help manage current market challenges:

  • Business Priming Grants
  • Business Expansion Grants
  • Feasibility Study Grants
  • Technical Assistance for Micro-Exporters Grant

To view the full details on the supports available to your business and the criteria visit: www.localenterprise.ie/Response.

Depending on how the situation evolves, criteria may change so please refer to the above website for updates.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can offer you advice during these difficult timesand try to stay positive and seriously think about using these supports, for today and a much better tomorrow….it will come!

Best wishes from all at Fuzion.

Greg

(086) 8311156 greg@fuzion.ie  

Greg Canty is the Managing Partner of Fuzion Communications, Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing, Dublin and Cork offices

Just call me Sarah!

March 23, 2020

Sarah Connor

I love a good apocalyptic film – correction – I even like the bad ones!!

I hate the gory bits, where instead of the Covid-19 virus, it’s flesh eating zombies coming to harm us, or a Robot from the next Century, but what I do love is seeing how ordinary people, like you and I, cope with whatever is thrown at them.

Worldwide pandemic, mass unemployment, billions self isolating, panic buying, some healthcare services in doomsday scenarios.

We are all in that “movie” now – so how are we coping?

Can we be the superhero, the Rick Grimes (Walking Dead) or the Sarah Connor (Terminator) for our business? 

Here is how I am becoming my own Superhero:-

  • Checking in with my really great team to keep them together and motivated while working remotely. It’s lonely working on your own so we have found some fun ways to stay connected. Check out our Twitter feed @FuzionComms to see for yourself,
  • Make decisions not based on emotions but on what’s good in the long run for the business, the team and the clients
  • Take solid (fighting) advice from people I trust, both colleagues and other business leaders
  • Constantly check in with my clients – I want to be there to fight in their corner – so we walk towards the dawn together when the nightmare/film is over
  • Look for Opportunities for Fuzion and for our clients – it’s a great time for taking a fresh look at business, how we do business and how we tell our story
  • Check in on my friends and family – let them know I love them and I’m there for them – even if I can’t hug them in person
  • Stay healthy, happy and safe – so I can be strong and fit for whatever curve-ball the “script” throws at me

If you are a business owner, feeling on your own with things, you need to put on your gloves and come out fighting and be your own Superhero. 

If you need help, call me, I’ll be in your corner 🙂

Deirdre 

Deirdre Waldron - Network Ireland PresidentDeirdre Waldron is the founding partner of Fuzion Communications

Fuzion are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Céad Míle Fáilte

June 27, 2018

Prince Charles visiting Cork

On Thursday the 14th June, Grand Parade in Cork was full of school children, the media and hundreds of friendly faces all there to catch a glimpse, or for the lucky few a chance to meet, HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.

As the royal couple made their way to the English Market, where they followed in the footsteps of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 2011, they were greeted by onlookers at every turn and the smiles on their faces showed how much they appreciated and enjoyed the warm welcome they received.

The English Market is one of my favourite accounts to work on for many reasons, and this royal visit was a major highlight. As I stood on the red carpet waiting for the arrival of the highly anticipated guests, I was filled with excitement and pride as I looked around and saw the ‘Céad Míle Fáiltewaiting for them.

It’s true to say we really do give a hundred thousand welcomes and quite literally roll out the red carpet to welcome all who visit Ireland. The royal couple spent approximately an hour in the English Market as they laughed, chatted and even cut the 230th birthday cake for the English Market.

Prince Charles visiting Cork

Some people may not favour the royal family or have their own views on the royal couple but the friendliness of the Irish was well and truly on show and the fun and laughter enjoyed by the royal couple on the day really made me proud of all involved and all who and welcomed them with open arms.

This visit has been great for the relationship between our two countries and it also puts a another big spotlight on Ireland as a great and friendly place to visit.

Thank you Charles and Camilla!

Edel Cox is a Senior PR Account Manager with Fuzion Communications

Fuzion Communications are a Marketing, PR and Graphic Design firm with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Exciting Opportunities in Dublin – Bring your Tent!

June 1, 2017

Camping in Dublin

Pitch the tent lads, we’re going to work in Dublin!

At the rate the housing trend is going in Ireland, more specifically Dublin, this may not be too far from the truth in the near future.

A recent projection from Savills Ireland, has suggested there may be office space for an additional 100,000 workers in Dublin by 2021 and with the projection of new housing at barely one-third of that demand, the question is where are these extra people going to live and how much will it cost?

Rent as of May 2017, has now surpassed Celtic Tiger levels with the average cost now standing at €1784 per month which is a stretch for anybody ‘living’ on the average Dublin wage of €36,519 per annum.

People in the know are calling for increased residential building heights and densities to accommodate people in the city centre to alleviate the strain and urban sprawl that is spreading far and wide. Wexford and Westmeath are now nearly recognised as commuter suburbs of Dublin at this stage.

As I write this, I can see cranes dominating the skyline around the capital and as it was pointed out to me, these are predominantly for commercial developments. These include the recently acquired Capital Dock building by global banking giant JPMorgan Chase for €125m, which is large enough for 1,000 staff not to mention the proposed tallest building in Dublin envisaged by Johnny Ronan.

If this is one of the first signs of Brexit, it doesn’t make for pleasant thoughts for the future of Dublin’s indigenous workforce.

Recently as I was waiting on a friend in the Ferryman on Sir John Rogerson’s Quay, I got chatting to a young American guy who voluntarily transferred from Boston to Dublin by his tech company in search of new experiences.

During the conversation, I asked how he found living in Dublin rent wise and the general cost of living. I was told that he found it expensive but didn’t really know the rent costs because as long as he has been here (4 months) his company has been paying and would be for the foreseeable future.

If that trend continues and the tech companies who dominate ‘Silicon Docks’ in Dublin can just pay the inflated prices for rent in Dublin to the REIT’s (Real Estate Investment Trusts), tents could soon be the only next option!

Patrick Jones - Fuzion CommunicationsPatrick

Patrick Jones is an Account Manager in Dublin with Fuzion Communications, Marketing, PR & Graphic Design 

Brexit – Keep calm and plan

May 8, 2017

Prepare for Brexit - Enterprise Ireland

The uncertainty, implications, and fallout from Brexit was the topic for debate at an Enterprise Ireland event that I went along to this week.

As a country so heavily dependent on exporting to the UK, Brexit represents the most significant economic challenge facing Ireland and one which we are advised to plan for without really knowing what the fallout will be.

While we can only speculate, Enterprise Ireland have rolled-out a dedicated roadshow, specific grant and an online tool to encourage businesses to plan and prepare so that anything other than a hard Brexit is somewhat of a bonus, dare I say it.

The UK will continue to be a key market for businesses in Ireland and the advice for companies in preparation for Brexit is to be as lean and innovative as possible.

Like all challenges, Brexit presents an opportunity for businesses to re-evaluate their markets, products, risks and operations to hone their business contingency plans to build resilience, which is never a bad thing, is it?

A well-thought-out business plan will be crucial for responding to change which is why an investment of time and resources will be vital.

Enterprise Ireland has launched a really clever Brexit SME Scorecard – a planning tool for Irish exporters to the UK designed to assess business readiness for Brexit as well as a Be Prepared Grant to help to financially support and encourage businesses to research, prepare and focus on the elements of their business which they can influence, whatever the outcome of Brexit.

There is no doubt that we’re facing a time of change and uncertainty but one thing is for sure – trade, as one of the oldest professions in the world, will still continue between people and countries.

How we prepare for change will make all the difference.

Aoibhinn Twomey - Fuzion PRAoibhinn

Aoibhinn Twomey is a Senior Account Director with Fuzion Communications – PR, Marketing and Graphic Design  who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

100 years of Ford and Engaging Body Language

April 24, 2017

100 Years of Ford in Cork, Ireland

On Friday last I interviewed Bill Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford and the Executive Chairman of the company that bears his family name.

He was here in Ireland, along with his terrific wife Lisa and equally terrific sons Will and Nick, two of their four children, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Ford establishing a manufacturing plant in Cork.

In the University College Cork auditorium packed with pensioners from the factory, business students, and local dignitaries, we had a “fireside chat” about the future of mobility, technology and leadership.

I’ll write more about what he said on the topic of leadership, for my next week’s column in the Sunday Independent, which will also happen to be close to the 100 day mark for the presidency of Donald Trump, leader of my birth country, the United States. But, meantime, back to the Ford Company leader, if you weren’t in that auditorium to see him speak, you missed something critical: seeing how he delivered.

To me, Bill Ford exemplifies the skill of using body language to enhance a presentation.

Bill Ford at UCC

He didn’t hide behind the lectern when he gave his opening remarks like so many other CEO’s I have interviewed.

He didn’t pace around the stage. He didn’t rock or bob on his feet as he stood. He was poised and confident in the centre of it, angling his body to different parts of the room as he addressed them.

He didn’t read from a fumbling set of papers.

He looked directly out into the audience.

And perhaps most of all — he smiled!

His body language was a critical component of how he so compellingly connected with that audience.

Go online or if you’re here in Ireland, get over to your newsagent and pick up a copy of The Sunday Independent and discover my top three tips how you can become more engaging in that way too.

And, of course, shameless plug, that’s one of the communications skills I train and coach here in my directorship role with Fuzion Communications. So, I’m happy to help you and your organization power-up.

Like the Ford Company says, “The Future is Unwritten.”

And much of how your future gets written is up to you!

Great relationships equal great communications.

Gina London - Fuzion CommunicationsGina

Gina London is a former CNN anchor and international campaign strategist, now Strategic Communications Director with Fuzion Communications. She serves as media commentator, MC and corporate consultant.

 

What is “Work Life Balance” to you?

April 18, 2017

Work Life Balance

Some people wake up at 6am to get a run or a workout in before they face the day, maybe do some yoga or meditation to start the day in a happier mindset or simply just because they like being up that early.

I wake up at 6am because I need to, to travel to work.

No, I am not complaining, it’s great to be working. I’m just saying that it would be nice to wake up at 6am and not run around my house like a mouse just after escaping the claws of the dreaded mouse trap because I need to get my train.

My point is that as industries grow and businesses get more and more tech savvy our jobs are changing with them. Remote work, sometimes seen as working from home/working from anywhere (depending on the role) is now part of a lot of job descriptions. This got me thinking about how we are now looking for newer ways to go to work and where to work from.

I see people every morning commuting to work on different modes of transport – bus, car, bicycle, moped, skateboard, electric scooter and regular train, bus, walkers like myself! (now I’m complaining!).

As employees, I feel we too (like consumers) are looking for new experiences in our jobs, our work environment and ways to achieve our full potential within our careers and personally, that achieve a positive “WORK LIFE BALANCE”.

The first question we need to ask ourselves is – What does “Work life balance” mean to you?

Someone recently asked me this and I was stumped. I knew I wanted it but what was it? So, I took myself aside and asked myself that very question.

Here’s what I came up with, for me work life balance is a lot of things…….but mainly it is being able to do my job to the best of my ability while having time for myself personally. It’s all about TIME!

There are so many articles telling us that working from home is bad or working from home is good, but I think it depends on the individual, their productivity and also accessibility outside of the office. A recent article from Silicon Republic referred to this luxury as a way of showing employees that the company they work for is flexible and trusts and values them.

So how is working from home a bad thing?

The same article quoted Michelle Hammond, senior lecturer in Occupational Behaviour at University of Limerick referring to the drawbacks of working from home, isolation being one of them. Full-time, I can understand this issue but part-time, isn’t it just that extra hour of rest in bed, the flexibility in the evenings or having more time with the family?

Irish Rail

Today, I am grateful for the work from home option since the trains decided to go on an unscheduled strike!

The remote access to my work allows me to do my job (time for a blog post!) in the exact same way as well as not letting down my team and supporting my clients. It also made me feel even more trusted and the flexibility spared me that feeling of always chasing time. I didn’t need to be finished at this time – to get to the next place – to get the Luas on time – to reach my train on time – to get home – Phew!

Everyone’s work, life balance is different and it is very much connected to mindfulness. For that reason, it is important to look at this and ask yourself that question – What does “Work life balance” mean to you?

Arlene Foy, Fuzion PR, Marketing Graphic Design, DublinArlene

Arlene Foy is an Account Manager with Fuzion PR in our Dublin office.

BREXIT –What about IREXIT ?

February 28, 2016

European Union flag

This week we are privileged to have a guest blogger with us!

Roger Hobkinson, our favourite Londoner heads up Destination Consulting services with Colliers in Ireland. He was surprised that there was very little talk about our role in Europe in the run up to the General Election – are we too inward thinking?

Roger talks a lot of sense so I asked him to capture his thoughts in a blog post:

Blog post by Roger Hobkinson

This is going  to be provocative.  Ireland is sleepwalking into a European Super State, a sort of dysfunctional capitalist Soviet Union. As our exam papers used to say – let’s discuss.

Last Friday (26th Feb, 2016) marked the general election for the 32nd Dáil Éireann.  As a Londoner, Englishman and Brit who has lived in Ireland for nearly seven “interesting” years I am excited and honoured to be voting in my first Irish General Election, especially given the year this election falls in.

However I am feeling a little bemused as amongst all the scrapping and political point scoring in GE16, over admittedly very important every day issues for people –  water charges, hospital trolleys, jobs, housing etc – there appears to be no debate at all about Europe and Ireland’s place in it – zip, zero, nothing, rein, nichts, nada, faic/rud !!!

This at a time of massive challenge, change and catastrophe across Europe.  In the years following the financial and economic meltdown in Ireland, the Euro, that politically driven project that played a none too small part in creating the darkness that fell over the country, there is sure to be even more power handed over from Eurozone “countries” to Brussels and Frankfurt.  Are Irish people comfortable with that?

I’m feeling even more bemused as it’s the centenary of the Easter Rising the events that led to Ireland’s Independence from Britain and there has been mass coverage and debate about Brexit but no comment from the parties and/or  the Irish people on Ireland’s European relationship.  So you/(we!) are celebrating/commemorating the birth of the Irish Republic, then worry so much about what Britain may or may not do BUT not debating what is the best or desired relationship with the EU for Ireland and Irish people. This strikes me as crazy.

So if this Brit raises my eyebrows in a puzzled manner and a bit of gnashing of teeth it is because I care for my new home, Ireland. It does appear the Irish establishment wants to be part of a European super state and hand over yet more sovereignty, fiscal and political powers in Brussels, Frankfurt and let’s be honest Berlin in the coming years.

The Good stuff

Now I happen to think the “European Economic Community, then European Union” has on the whole been brilliant for the people of Europe.

The best thing is that it has brought people together and of course stopped Germany and France (and other countries) fighting each other, its developed trade, jobs, opportunities, understanding (sort of), improved standards (even if some countries play more by the rule book than others) and many other things.  However I believe it is now going too far.

Yes I want to be part of a European Union, understanding that some powers need to be given up for a “common European good” to tackle geo-politics, environment, crime, migration, social and economic mega trends that shape all our lives.  However I absolutely do not want Britain to be consumed into a European Super State.

So David Cameron’s negotiations struck me as maybe not a huge amount of detailed result but the fact that the UK has apparently secured the opt out of “ever closer union”.  That’s the thing. That’s the core principle to my mind. Well played Dave!

Where we have all come from to help us understand where we are going..

Lots of Brits are portrayed as arrogant, imperialist etc etc (sigh, sigh) in their belief that actually Europe is not for me.  Let’s think about where different countries came from; Spain, Portugal and Greece were fascist dictatorships within the last forty  years, Italy slightly further back and only a nation state since the middle of the 19th century.

Eastern Europe and the Baltic states were part of the communist bloc, downtrodden by Soviet communism. France was a great, proud, strong and major power with a big colonial past who kept on fighting with its neighbour. That neighbour Germany,  became a nation state in the second half of the 19thcentury. It then tried to rule Europe twice in under 30 years.  Since 1945 Germany has been incredibly successful (what was that about Germany’s debts written off – oh the irony).

Then we come to us here in Ireland. We know where Ireland came from don’t we!! Europe has helped Ireland find its own place and assert itself in Europe and the world.

So all these countries have understandable and different reasons for finding a home in the EU club.

Then we have Scandinavian countries, one bordered by Russia (enough said), and the sexy sensible Swedes and the delightful Danes, who clearly like the EU but are perhaps a little distant from it.

Then we have the UK. Britain might not be perfect but as London 2012 showcased it is one of the worlds’ most open, tolerant and dynamic countries with probably the worlds’ capital at this point in time in London. It’s the fastest growing of the big European economies, the 4th biggest economy in the world, of course it will be overtaken by the likes of Brazil, India and Mexico as they get their acts together, but it will remain one of the strongest economies in the world.

Britain also that has huge soft power. Plus the UK is forecast to be the most populous European country by the 2030’s  at the same time that much of continental Europe has a decreasing population and the majority of Eurozone countries  have moribund economies. So if Britain votes to leave, Germans will not want to sell cars, Italians clothes and French wine to the UK ??!!!

Britain is also quite an old nation state, trading (global), strong links with the commonwealth from its colonial past,  a long established legal system and a political system that is not perfect, and in need of modernisation – it generally works well.  If I had a Euro for every time I’ve heard an Irish person in the last few years say “so and so politician or business person has got away with it again” (and we keep voting for them even worse!) – if that was in the UK or US they would be in front of investigative political, police and judiciary powers.  So in legal, political and trading terms the UK does lots and has lots of experience as to what works for it.

So maybe that pushes out an alternative narrative as to why Britons don’t want to be consumed into “ever closer union”?

Game over?

With my British head on I believe Britain should stay in the EU – on balance it will be better off in rather than out. I also want Great Britain to remain England, Scotland and Wales.  If Scotland votes massively to stay in and England votes to leave, I can’t argue with the Scots for wanting another referendum.  Although the irony of course is that they would almost certainly have less “power” in the emerging European Super State than as part of an increasingly “federal” UK.  Plus Britain “in” I think will be better for Ireland.

So hopefully post June 23, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic will still be in the EU and maybe more importantly for some still in Euro 2016 !!!

Roger HobkinsonRoger Hobkinson – Colliers International

Thank you Roger for the incredible insights and as always, many words of wisdom!

Follow Roger on Twitter or on LinkedIn.

eCommerce – ‘Take Off’ with Online Trading Vouchers

June 22, 2014

Take Off

Fuzion are delighted to be working on two great initiatives that have been introduced by the Government and are being operated by the Local Enterprise Boards.

One of these is the Online Trading Vouchers initiative, which is designed to encourage and assist Irish businesses with eCommerce potential to get trading online and not miss the opportunity to expand their business. Vouchers of up to €2,500 are available to qualifying businesses.

This is a huge opportunity for the right business to literally ‘Take Off‘ by reaching new online customers for their products and services.

With the trend ever increasing towards online spending it is estimated that only 23% of small Irish businesses are engaged in any meaningful way in eCommerce sales.

For businesses employing less than ten people this percentage could be even lower. It is now believed that of online purchases made in Ireland that 70% of these are done in overseas markets. This is a huge lost opportunity for Irish businesses.

There is now an urgency to ensure that businesses recognise that this is happening and that they are encouraged and supported to respond to this digital reality in a meaningful way.

In order to support this goal, the National Digital Strategy aims to get a further 2,000 businesses trading online by the end of 2015.

The Online Trading Voucher scheme has been introduced to support those who wish to grasp this opportunity to expand their business.

Applications are now being accepted in the Pilot Regions of: Dublin City & County, Cork City & County, Kerry, Louth, Sligo and Waterford.

The €2,500 match funded Online Trading Vouchers are targeted at:

  • Small businesses that have a limited online trading presence
  • Less than 10 employees
  • Turnover less than €2million
  • Registered and trading for a minimum of 12 months
  • Located in one of the pilot areas under this phase of the scheme

The Online Trading Vouchers can be used for the development or upgrade of an e-commerce website such as implementing online payments or booking systems.

Other usage includes the purchase of internet related software, online advertising, development of an APP, implementation of a digital marketing strategy, consultation with ICT experts for early stage adopters of online strategy and training/skills development specifically to establish and manage an online trading activity.

In order to make an application those interested must attend one of the information seminars which will provide all the details as to how to apply but also how to best use and gain value from the voucher to support the business online trading proposition.

This is an opportunity not to be missed by anyone who has a small business with products or services suited to eCommerce sales.

Please spread the word and advise anyone who is interested that they must attend the seminars – Attendance is FREE and pre-registration is essential.

Are you ready for Take Off?

The Fuzion Crew..

Check out the other terrific initiative, Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, which is a new competition to find Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur, with a total fund of €2 million available to invest in winning businesses and entrepreneurs in every county in the country.

 


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