Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey is encouraging local retail business owners to apply for a new round of funding to expand their online offering and presence to customers.

He was speaking after Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English announced retailers who have been approved for funding under the Online Retail Scheme (ORS) administered by Enterprise Ireland.

This latest development will see 216 retailers across all counties approved for funding of €9.29 million. The Scheme is for retailers who already have an online presence and who have a physical store and want to enhance their online capability.

“Many Clare companies have successfully made the digital transition in recent years and developed their online capability to sell their goods and services online.

“Consumer habits have also changed in recent years and it was great for them to know that when they went online, they had local options instead of just the large international retailers, particularly when the pandemic occurred. 

“Recipients from this latest call are based across all counties in Ireland and are from a number of sectors, including hardware, pharmacy, clothing and furniture. 

Five Clare businesses have been successful in this round of the Online Retail Scheme. The Pantry Food Store, Willow, Patrick Bourke Menswear, Rochford’s Pharmacy and the County Boutique will receive grants ranging from €10,000 to a maximum of €64,000.

“Nationally, since 2018 more than 700 projects from retailers based in Ireland have been approved for €28.3m in funding through the Government’s Online Retail Scheme. 

“We have seen how businesses benefited from this scheme throughout the pandemic, this funding will continue that revitalisation,“ Deputy Carey added.