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COVID-19 Digital Business Supports

 

Many businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.  Now more than ever, businesses are turning to online and digital options to keep trading. We have compiled resources and supports available from a range of service providers both government and private sector. This page will be updated as further information becomes available.

Digital and e-commerce solutions

Some of our .ie accredited Registrars and digital partners that we work with have put together packages and resources aimed at helping small businesses during this time improve their online capabilities.

  • Register 365 is offering Microsoft 365 free for the first month, a rapid website that can be built in 3 days and 40% off starter or WordPress web hosting.
  • FCR Media is offering a free fully featured online shop for SMEs to sell their products and services.
  • dmac media is offering free website help for frontline healthcare providers.
  • Aura Internet has created a website with free listings for all SMEs selling online – www.buyingonline.ie.
  • Blacknight Solutions has written a really useful blog on 10 essential business tools and tips for remote working.

Practical business advice and digital supports

Many of the representative organisations that we partner with and other companies have useful information on their websites.

  • The Local Enterprise Offices have been very quick to provide information on business supports relating to COVID-19.  There are also new flexibilities with the Trading Online Voucher to assist micro businesses making the move online. Many LEOs around the country have moved their training events online, using webinars.
  • Enterprise Ireland are administering the COVID-19 Online Retail Scheme on behalf of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation with a total fund size of €2 million, for companies with 10 employees or more. The final date to submit an application is 27 May 2020.
  • The Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) are doing a webinar series for designers and makers. They have also published detailed FAQs to support Irish designers and makers and to keep clients and member organisations informed of supports available.
  • Digital Business Ireland are running a free webinar series from some of Ireland’s top e-commerce advisors.
  • Retail Excellence are hosting a Trade On! Webinar Series for retailers looking to grow their e-commerce business. Keep an eye on their Twitter account for details.
  • Dogpatch Labs decided to make their First Friday of Startups totally digital rather than the usual physical meetups. Check it out for some really useful webinars, talks and mentoring.
  • Facebook are running free business training events online with their webinar series.
  • Facebook are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help businesses experiencing disruptions resulting from COVID-19.
  • E-commerce website, www.nrgstore.ie is offering to host small Irish retailers on its online sales platform for free as COVID-19 continues to impact trading.
  • Small + Local was created as a resource to find and promote independent businesses. If you are a business that would like to be included on it, get in touch with them.
  • The eCommerce Association of Ireland has set up a task force directory which pairs mentors with companies who want to pivot to e-commerce due to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • DMG Media Ireland has launched a €1m advertising fund for small businesses hit by the fall-out from COVID-19. It will provide 200 small businesses with an advertising package worth €5,000 each, and is targeted at those companies that are still operating, and those who are hoping to open safely once restrictions are eased.
  • Inspiration Marketing are offering three hours of free support to 50 small businesses. You can apply on their website.
  • If you’re a trades person looking for work, it might be useful to register with tradesmen.ie.
  • One of Engineers Ireland’s member, Akkure, an Irish digital health startup, has unveiled the COVIDMedBot, an online personalised risk assessment and guideline tool for use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A GiftVoucher system is now available to SMEs at no cost and allows supporters of retail businesses to buy vouchers which can be redeemed throughout the crisis.

Training and upskilling

Now might be a great opportunity to upskill, both for business owners and staff members. Some options are outlined below.

  • Digital Marketing Institute has a range of digital marketing courses that can be done online. They are offering 3 Months Power Membership and 4 free course modules in response to COVID-19. Offer ends 30 April 2020.
  • Some of the Local Enterprise Offices are running courses online. Check in with your local office.
  • Irish Times Training are offering free online webinars on various topics over the coming weeks.

How-to guides

There are some excellent guides from various digital sources which may be useful.

  • Here’s some practical advice from DunLaoghaireTown.ie about How to get started with click & collect.
  • There is a great piece from Econsultancy on the Do’s and Don’ts of email marketing during COVID-19. Customers are being bombarded with a lot of additional email, so it’s important to offer timely advice that is of use to your customers.
  • Many bricks and mortar businesses are having to close their doors at present. Shopify has a really useful blog on short term revenue strategies which are quick to implement.
  • Adrian Weckler from the Irish Independent has created a short video on How to make your first Zoom group video call in under 60 seconds which is handy for online meetings.
  • If you’re looking to set up a website, check out our e-books which could be useful resources on your online journey.
  • Businesses can benefit from the range of digital tools available. In our latest blog, we have selected some of the best options to make up our top 10 tools to work smarter and grow faster.

Important note

*There have been some reports of websites internationally offering COVID-19 related products for sale, including test kits.  Test kits such as these are not medically approved or sanctioned and should not be purchased. Any instances should be brought to the attention of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission and the Health Products Regulatory Authority immediately.*