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Invest NI: SME Retailers in NI gain another opportunity to grow online

Invest NI’s COVID-19 Digital Selling and Capability Grant (DSCG) has so far helped 93 retailers and wholesalers invest in online marketing and e-commerce solutions to grow their business.

The scheme is now open for a further call for applications.

Kevin Holland, CEO, Invest NI said: “DSCG was the first COVID-19 recovery scheme we launched and it attracted a lot of interest from day one with over 127 applications. We hope this second call will be equally well received.

“Many retailer and wholesalers experienced a sudden loss of trade when they were forced to close as a result of COVID. Faced with long periods without a physical shop for customers to visit, this scheme has provided vital support to help retailers invest in solutions so they can sell online.

“We are now running a second competitive call for applications to the scheme. Open to small and medium sized retailers and wholesalers, those successful will receive a maximum grant of £20,000 to implement a project that will allow them to grow their online presence and increase online sales.”

The scheme is open to small and medium sized retailers and wholesalers with 5 employees or more. The grant of up to £20,000 is to support 50% of eligible costs for successful projects. Full details on the scheme, eligibility and how to apply can be found on https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/dscg-call-2

Applications for the scheme will close at 5pm on Friday 9 July 2021.

Ulster Stores Limited, which has a number of retail stores including Moores of Coleraine, has already received support via the scheme.

Jenny Clarke, Product and Online Director, Ulster Stores Limited said: “With consumers buying more online as a result of COVID-19, it was vital for Moores of Coleraine to have an online presence to compliment the in store offer.

“The DSCG grant has helped us to develop a transactional website to enable our customers to shop online. It has been so important to our business, especially when we found ourselves in lockdown again, with our high street store closed.

“We have been able to show new products and inspire our customers through our social channels and have successfully used the new website to develop an online customer base. Even though our store is open again, the new online presence will continue to be an important way for us to reach existing and new customers.”