New support schemes by Invest Northern Ireland

| Katarzyna Tomczak

A new £1million Digital Selling Capability Grant to help retailers and wholesalers generate business online, and a £5million Equity Investment Fund targeted at early stage and seed stage SMEs, has opened for applications on 9th September 2020. The schemes, operated by Invest Northern Ireland, are the first of a number of new initiatives being developed by the agency to help businesses bounce back from the impact of Covid-19.

The Covid-19 Digital Selling Capability Grant is specifically aimed at helping small and medium-sized Norther Ireland retail and wholesale businesses develop consumer demand and grow online sales. For the retailer, taking business online is one of the ways it can change to any current limitations and continue to sell to their clients. Going online will also open up opportunities to enter new markets and new consumers demand.

The Digital Selling Grant will bring exactly the sort of practical support that will help selers to develop new ways of doing business and support them to stay viable and competitive for the longer term. The Covid-19 Digital Selling Capability Grant will allow SMEs to access a maximum grant of £20,000 to support 50% of eligible costs. Projects must have a minimum eligible expenditure of £10,000. For more details on the scheme and to check your eligibility please go to website.

The Covid-19 Equity Investment Fund will provide access to finance for early stage high-growth potential SMEs in Northern Ireland. This equity fund will support their business plans, prepare them for growth and recovery.

CEIF will provide matching equity investment or convertible loan notes of up to a maximum of £700,000 for technology and innovative businesses. The scheme is typically focussed on the sectors of advanced manufacturing, materials and engineering, digital and creative technologies, life and health sciences, cyber security, precision medicine, big data, internet of things and analytics. Full details on the scheme, how to Apple, and eligibility criteria please visit website.