Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Questions (42, 81)

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Question:

42. Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if the trading online voucher scheme is being expanded; the number of businesses which have availed of the scheme in County Offaly in 2017 and since its introduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7254/18]

View answer

Peter Burke

Question:

81. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the uptake of the trading online voucher scheme by county both in 2017 and since the scheme’s introduction; if the scheme is being expanded; if so, if such an expansion will include data protection and cyber security; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7261/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 81 together.

My Department's Trading Online Voucher Scheme is designed to support micro businesses (10 or less employees, less than €2 million turnover) to develop their trading online capability. The scheme pairs training with financial support of up to €2,500 (subject to matched funding), to help small businesses to grow and diversify their markets through trading online. It specifically targets businesses who are not yet trading online or doing so in a very limited away. This is a demand-led scheme, which is funded by my Department, and delivered in every county by the Local Enterprise Office.

By the end of 2017, over 4,100 small businesses had successfully applied for a trading online voucher and over 10,600 businesses in total had benefited through participation in training sessions delivered by the Local Enterprise Offices under the scheme since it began in 2014.

This year I have provided funding to increase the target number of businesses supported from 1,000 per annum to 1,500 in 2018. My Department is currently scoping initiatives to build on the success of the scheme, including the development of a national website and centralised web-based infrastructure for online application to the scheme. 

As part of this, my Department, in collaboration with our partners in the delivery of the scheme, will explore ways in which the scheme can promote awareness of the latest digital trends, including topics such as data protection and cybersecurity, in the context of its primary objective which is to increase the demand for broadband products and services.

The following table provides information on the number of applications approved under the scheme by county, including Offaly, from 2014 to date. 

County

2014/2015

2016

2017

TOTAL

Carlow

47

22

12

81

Cavan

18

14

20

52

Clare

24

37

32

93

Cork City 

51

35

33

119

Cork North/West

103

55

44

202

Cork South

93

45

36

174

Donegal

63

24

47

134

Dublin City 

137

98

140

375

Dublin South

32

37

38

107

Dun Laoghaire/ Rathdown

121

75

78

274

Fingal

101

51

51

203

Galway 

26

58

43

127

Kerry

85

85

60

230

Kildare

73

24

42

139

Kilkenny

68

27

28

123

Laois

25

18

11

54

Leitrim

37

18

12

67

Limerick 

77

58

49

184

Longford

15

12

15

42

Louth

42

39

55

136

Mayo

34

22

29

85

Meath

21

11

30

62

Monaghan

23

23

17

63

Offaly

30

14

15

59

Roscommon

26

19

22

67

Sligo 

57

23

22

102

Tipperary

63

33

37

133

Waterford

61

49

42

152

Westmeath

38

26

29

93

Wexford

54

44

33

131

Wicklow

132

58

67

257

TOTAL

1,777

1,154

1,189

4,120