Google is to give €4m in advertising credits and grants to small businesses, government agencies and non-governmental organisations here in an effort to help them recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

By the end of next year, the internet giant also aims to provide free digital skills training to 40,000 firms and businesses.

The Grow with Google initiative aims to help 60,000 small businesses to recover by helping them to grow online.

This could include reaching new customers online, selling online for the first time, expanding to international markets or learning how to run a team virtually. 

"Despite the ongoing uncertainty, we want to show that having an online presence can have a transformative impact on offline businesses, not just now, but into the future," said Alice Mansergh, Director of Small Businesses, Google Ireland

"I'm very excited for us to offer help and support to the incredible Irish business owners out there, to help them to succeed."

Participants will be able to access hundreds of training course for free via the Grow with Google website

The company also intends to make further digital skills training freely available to Irish businesses through partnerships with other organisations like Dublin Chamber of Commerce and The Gaelic Players Association.

The development has been welcomed by those supporting small and medium sized firms.

"The Grow with Google supports and initiatives announced today will be invaluable for businesses to help them become more resilient as they recover from the Coronavirus crisis, and simultaneously prepare for the potential impacts of Brexit," said Neil McDonnell, chief executive of ISME.

"We are encouraging all SMEs to leverage the opportunity to engage with Google now to gain new, vital skills and insights that will stand to them not only now, but into the future."

While John Moran, the chairman of SME Recovery Ireland, said the assistance couldn't have come at a more important time.