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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 the .ie accredited Registrars and digital partners we work with have put together packages and resources aimed at helping small businesses improve their online capabilities during the Covid-19 restrictions.

  • Blacknight Solutions is running a series of business recovery webinars that will cover building a website in 20-minutes, adding an online store or booking system to your website and how to communicate online.
  • 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.

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 businesses making the move online. LEOs around the country have also moved their training events online, using webinars.
  • An Post have launched a dedicated e-commerce advice hub providing information and expert tips to help SMEs start trading online.
  • The Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) is 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 is running a free webinar series from some of Ireland’s top e-commerce advisors.
  • Retail Excellence is 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.
  • Google Digital Garage have a range of free learning content designed to help grow your business or jumpstart your career.
  • Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help businesses experiencing disruptions resulting from COVID-19.
  • 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.
  • Virgin Media are supporting Irish SME’s by showcasing their inspiring stories across Virgin Media Television platforms – Backing Business.
  • If you are a tradesperson looking for work, it might be useful to register with onlinetradesmen.ie.

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 taken online.
  • The Local Enterprise Offices are running their courses online. Check in with your local office.
  • MentorsWork is an eight-week business-support programme free to SMEs. It is designed to provide the skills and supports to help business owner-managers  sustain and improve their business. These supports include one-to-one mentoring sessions, peer-focused workshops, expert-led masterclasses and access to a curated online learning platform.
  • Irish Times Training is running all of their digital marketing programmes online.

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’t’s 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.
  • 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 a range of digital tools available. In our blog, we have selected some of the best options to make up our top 10 tools to work smarter and grow faster.
  • Managing remote teams and WFH staff from an IT perspective can be challenging. To help SMEs, in our blog we’ve put together tips for a more structured process.

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.*