An Post said it is committing €2m worth of practical supports to help SMEs get back to business and to enable them to sell online successfully and sustainably.  

There are three strands to the new initiative which may be accessed by registering for the An Post Advantage Card through anpost.com/commerce and post offices.

SMEs will be able to avail of discounted prices, starting with a 25% discount on An Post parcel services for the period of Covid-19. 

A €1m marketing fund, offering €1,000 worth of direct mail to small firms for a local advertising drive or as part of a larger marketing campaign, is also available. These will be allocated on a first come-first service basis from Monday May 25. 

An Post also said it has a dedicated eCommerce advice hub providing information and expert tips for help SMEs to start trading online. 

With links to the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) and other SME networks, small businesses will have access to the best information and inspiration in just a few clicks. 

An Post said its new initiatives complement the range of recently-announced Government supports to help SMEs get back to business and the economy moving again.

Garrett Bridgeman, MD of An Post Mails & Parcels, said this is phase one of a phased support programme for SMEs with a new direct mail service for consumer product samples and a regional initiative centred around local Post Offices also being put in place to assist small firms. 

"Small businesses are transforming to meet the needs of customers and An Post's expertise and reach is helping Irish SMEs open up for business, even if their door is closed," Mr Bridgeman said. 

"There's lots to be learned from the global ecommerce players in getting the digital impact, service quality and customer focus in place from the start.  By adding the power of post and the convenience of the local post office to deliver a personal, human touch, we can give Irish companies a real advantage in the national and international marketplace," he added.