Q: I’m in the process of opening a new shop. Can you point me in the direction of grant assistance that would be available to help me with the fit-out?
A: Sadly, there is no grant assistance available for retail operations. There are lots of grants available for manufacturing businesses, but as you will be selling directly to the consumer your project will be classed as retail, which is ineligible.
There are however, “softer supports” in many regions offered by the Local Enterprise Offices. You may be able to avail of mentoring – many of the LEO retail development programmes provide expertise and mentoring to help grow your business.
The LEOs are also constantly running digital media training programmes which I would encourage you to complete. They have an excellent online trading voucher scheme for retailers, designed to help you build a selling website for your business.
County Councils around the country have shop front schemes, which provide smaller grants for enhancing shop fronts or the facade of the business. You might also qualify for a loan from Micro Finance Ireland. While it is disappointing there are no grants, there are lots of other supports which should help.
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