New £3m fund to help retail micro-businesses move online
Open for applications from 6pm Tuesday 2 February 2021, the COVID-19 Micro-business E-commerce Grant is specifically designed to help micro-business retailers develop their sales online.
It is the second of our schemes focussed on helping retailers adjust to the ongoing restrictions and current closure of our high streets and help them grow online sales longer term. This particular scheme is focused on micro-businesses retailers – those employing less than 10 people, with retail premises and which derive the majority of their turnover from retail customers.
Eligible businesses will be able to receive a maximum grant of £5,000 towards up to 80 per cent of eligible costs.
What can the grant be used for?
The Micro-business E-commerce Grant has up to £3m of support available in this call.
The grant is specifically for helping micro-business retailers to pivot to online selling and grow their business online.
Some of the eligible activities covered by the scheme include:
- engaging the services of a supplier to review your current digital marketing capabilities and online sales channels,
- develop an e-commerce strategy,
- develop or enhance your e-commerce website or online presence to drive increased sales,
- help improve the digital marketing and e-commerce capability of the employees in the business.
Full details on criteria, eligibility and Guidance Notes on how to apply are available on nibusinessinfo.co.uk/mbeg
When to apply
COVID-19 Micro-business E-commerce Grant will be issued to eligible businesses on a first-come-first-served basis.
We recommend you apply as soon as possible as the grant will close to applications, either:
- When the available budget is fully allocated: or
- On the closing date of 6pm on Friday 12 March 2021, whichever comes first.
To find out if you are eligible to apply please complete the Eligibility Checker .
How this support can help
Our first digital selling scheme, COVID-19 Digital Selling Capability Grant (DSCG), offered support to small and medium-sized retailers and committed £1m of support.
The impact of COVID-19 has resulted in a significant shift in consumer buying habits towards more online purchasing. Invest NI’s Digital Selling Capability Grant has given us access to digital experts who are helping us to create a new eCommerce website to improve our service online. […] We would encourage those micro retail businesses who need extra online support to avail of this new scheme and secure the future of their business.
Colin Patterson, Managing Director, Smyth Patterson
Read more of our COVID-19 response features:
- New Energy Efficiency Capital Grant to help businesses benefit from long term cost savings and carbon savings - 24 Nov 2020
- New £2m scheme launched to help SMEs develop business recovery plans – 07 Oct 2020
- 2020 – A year of change for NI businesses– 29 Sept 2020
- Why exporting will play an important role in rebuilding our economy post COVID- 28 Sept 2020
- New Digital Selling grant to help retailers and wholesalers generate business online– 09 Sept 2020
- Northern Ireland’s SMEs supported with £5m equity fund- 09 Sept 2020
- Innovation in the face of COVID-19 – 29 June 2020
- Understanding the impact of COVID-19 on our sectors– 10 June 2020
- Rising to the COVID-19 challenge(Part2) - 05 May 2020
- Rising to the COVID-19 challenge– 27 April - 2020