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Virgin Media’s ‘Backing Business’ Initiative announces €100,000 programme to support Munster businesses with Digital Transformation Packages

Virgin Media's ‘Backing Business’ initiative, in collaboration with Digital Business Ireland (DBI), permanent tsb, Milk Bottle Labs and Munster Local Enterprise Offices, has announced a €100,000 programme to select and support five businesses across the Munster region with bespoke digital transformation packages.

The initiative is targeted at SMEs and any business can enter. The aim of the campaign is to help small businesses benefit from new online consumer spending patterns with support from industry experts to help raise their ecommerce offering to the next level. Overall it will exemplify how businesses can compete online and create further opportunities for growth.

Businesses throughout Munster can apply for this initiative. Five successful applicants will take part in a full digital transformation to build their online trading platform and help elevate their ecommerce offering so they can compete on a global stage.

Interested businesses can get details here. The opening date for applications will be Tuesday 4th May and entries will be accepted until Tuesday 18th May.

The five selected businesses will get a share of the overall €100,000 in support and will also benefit hugely from the expertise and insights of each of the Virgin Media ‘Backing Business’ partners. This includes one year of free Fibre Business Broadband with Virgin Media Business, an online Shopify Store built by Milk Bottle Labs and business development support and full membership of Digital Business Ireland's extensive network. They will also receive mentoring in digital marketing from their Local Enterprise Office and the overall initiative is supported with programme funding from permanent tsb.

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar, T.D. said:        

“The pandemic has transformed how most businesses work and interact with their customers. We’ve seen a huge shift to online, a trend which was happening before Covid but one that has been massively accelerated because of the virus. This initiative is a great opportunity for Munster-based businesses and is complementary to some of the Government help that is available, such as the Trading Online Voucher Scheme.”

Mags Brennan, Head of Business Banking at permanent tsb: “Our brand revolves around community. Our 76 branches in communities nationwide, including 25 in Munster, provide an invaluable lifeline to so many small businesses, never more so than during Covid-19. We are committed to helping small business transform digitally, and operate more efficiently and effectively, in the ever-changing business market in Ireland. We are proud to be part of this initiative helping to elevate digital enterprise and support growth in local communities.”

Lorraine Higgins, Secretary General of Digital Business Ireland (DBI): “DBI’s ethos is based on empowering SMEs to do business beyond boundaries. Having digital functionality is key to realising this ambition which is why we’re delighted to be part of a campaign that will equip and enable businesses to reach potential customers in a global marketplace.”

Keith Matthews, Founder at Milk Bottle Labs: "We’re delighted to partner with Virgin Media’s Backing Business programme to showcase the best of Irish business.  Our Irish-based team at Milk Bottle Labs want to continue to do what we can to support small businesses and create opportunities online.  Removing the barriers to trading online is the first step to help small business sell more online.”

Padraic McElwee, Chair of the network of Local Enterprise Offices and Head of Enterprise with Local Enterprise Office Clare: “We are looking forward to partnering with Virgin Media’s Backing Business campaign to showcase all the benefits of selling online. Enabling small businesses to explore new markets and online selling opportunities is a key support that the Local Enterprise Offices offer throughout the country. We’re encouraging small businesses to use the supports available to help unlock the digital potential within their businesses.”

Aidan Darcy, Director of Virgin Media Business: “Continuing on from the fantastic success of last year’s #BackingBusiness campaign, we’re excited to partner with permanent tsb, Milk Bottle Labs, Digital Business Ireland and the Local Enterprise Offices across Munster to boost the fantastic SME businesses in the region. This new campaign will support five businesses in their digital transformation and help future proof their business for 2021 and beyond.

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