Eleven Galway retailers have been allocated funding, under the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme, to help strengthen their online presence and attract new customers.
The funding has been welcomed by Fine Gael Senator Seán Kyne, but he said in spite of this, more support for local businesses was needed, especially as the Covid pandemic and restrictions are changing the ways in which people shop.
"The types of products and services purchased online will only have expanded this year," he said. "This has pros and cons for businesses, but it also has ramifications for our town and village centres, even our city centres."
Sen Kyne said that, according to research, up to 70 per cent of online spending leaves Ireland, resulting in a loss of revenue to the State and Irish businesses. "Irish businesses, unlike some of the largest global ones," he said, "are operating to the highest standards in terms of health and safety and employee welfare."
He said that while the Trading Online Voucher Scheme, the ReStart Grant, and the Covid-19 Online Retail Scheme "have helped", the long-term situation is more challenging. “We need to work harder to support small and medium businesses and we need to act now," he said, "in advance of the Christmas seasons, so local businesses can survive.”