Coronavirus Business Support

Please visit the government's Coronavirus business support webpage for all information and guidance for your business.

Find current information on these specific business support topics:


Business Support Helpline
You can contact the government’s Business Support Helpline for free advice on
0300 456 3565 or

HMRC Coronavirus (Covid-19) Helpline
If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice on
0800 0159 559.

Keep up with official guidance here:

Contact us:

Our Economic Development Team is here to support you during this challenging time. Contact us on with your questions and we will do our best to signpost you in the right direction for your answers.


Best Growth Hub

There is a wide range of organisations providing a variety of business support and advice.

For your first point of call, go to BEST Growth Hub which provides free advice on business start-up, development and funding for businesses in Essex.

BEST provide an enthusiastic team of Business Navigators who can meet you at your business premises to discuss your needs and identify ways to help your business to succeed and grow. Advice can be given on grants and loans and up-to-date latest business support opportunities available in your area, including news and events.

Find out more information 
British Business Bank

British Business Bank

The British Business Bank is a government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses.

Whether you’re looking for finance to start a business, grow to the next level, or stay ahead of the competition, the British Business Bank delivers greater volume and choice of finance.

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Manufacturing Growth Programme

The Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) provides free advice and support to manufacturing SMEs to help them grow and improve. Offers an independent business review to identify opportunities and create plans for growth and improvement, growth/improvement grants (contributions of 35% to cover implementation costs), connections to wider support to maximise opportunities, access to matched industry experts to provide consultancy and/or coaching tailored to the business needs.

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Entrepreneur Handbook

The Entrepreneur Handbook provides expert advice on every aspect on starting and growing a business including sales, finance and marketing.


Essex International

Essex International is set up to help businesses and organisations find opportunities in China. By using knowledge and network of contacts in China, Essex International can bring together Chinese businesses and government departments to help clients meet decision-makers that are interested in buying a product in particular. They can also help you navigate opaque regulations and provide communication support to help you conclude deals.


COBRA - Complete Business Reference Advisor

Find out about hundreds of business opportunities, including market potential and how to get started. Find out about start-up guides and ideas, business support in your area, market and sector guides and business rules and regulations.

The Business and  IP Centre

The Business and IP Centre at the British Library aims to support businesses, entrepreneurs and inventors grow their organisations in whichever industry they maybe in. Their purpose is to provide business support, advice and resources, which include advice on writing a business plan.

Prince's Trust

The Prince's Trust Enterprise programme supports entrepreneurs setting up a business whilst supporting those growing businesses. The programme offers free training, mentoring and low interest loans. In addition they provide one to one support service to help write business plans.

Find out more information 


Tabletop to £1m

Tabletop to £1m is a community of ambitious female business owners. Led by award-winning entrepreneur Carmel Jane, the group lobbies for change to government policy to make it easier for women to scale business up, and comes together to share mentoring, real stories and tangible advice through a female-founder business growth hub.

Find out more information

LOCASE Low Carbon Programme

The LoCASE project is an EU/local authority backed scheme available for small and medium enterprise (SME) business in the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) region. LoCASE helps businesses look at their energy efficiency and considers how to save money in this area; once areas of improvement are identified it provides grants to help businesses use less energy and produce less carbon, and offer business support and advise on changes to business practices.


Invest ESSEX

Invest ESSEX is an investment promotion agency (IPA) and business support provider, promoting the opportunity of Essex as a prime UK business location to international and UK companies. Invest ESSEX guides and supports businesses through every stage of business relocation, expansion or scale-up.

Superfast Essex

The Superfast Essex Broadband Project is being led by Essex County Council as an investment in Essex’s broadband infrastructure. It will bring improved superfast broadband to homes and businesses across the county. The aim is for 90% of the county to have access to Superfast Broadband.

Find out more information 

Keep+ Programme

KEEP+ Partnership, led by Anglia Ruskin University has secured £9.4m from the European Regional Development Fund to support businesses to innovate and grow. The funding will enable small and medium-sized enterprises across the East and the South East of England to connect with the expertise of Universities.

Essex Trading Standards

Essex Trading Standards is a part of Essex County Council and is responsible for ensuring that both businesses and consumers understand their legal rights and responsibilities in relation to legislation that falls within its remit. In support of this initiative there is also a trading standards helpline available.

The Start Up Donut


Startacus is a self start society. It is a community of startups, entrepreneurs, creative’s, dreamers, innovators and self starters. They provide information, support and inspiration to help make starting, sustaining or growing a business as easy as possible.

Find out more information 

Virgin Startup

Virgin Start Up is a company for entrepreneurs. They help businesses get funding and a mentor so new businesses can get ahead. Their support  services include: content and resources, business advice, mentoring, funding, offers and discounts.

Brentwood Borough Council Regulatory Advice

Brentwood Borough Council offers local businesses advisory and informative services on subject areas such as business rates, health and safety, waste and recycling, licensing and more.

Find out more information 

Foundation East

Foundation East is an organisation that lends money to new and existing businesses, self employed people and social enterprises that cannot obtain a loan from a bank or need additional funds to match bank lending. They operate across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Find out more information


HM Government Business Support

All of the government’s business support schemes are accessible via the Business Support site, making it easier for businesses in England to find out about the full range of support available, including:

  • Finance and business planning
  • Innovation and technology
  • Leadership and talent
  • Exporting

Find out more information 

HM Revenue & Customs

The HM Revenue & Customs(HRMC) department is responsible for the administration and collection of direct taxes including; income tax , corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax, indirect taxes, excise duties, stamp duty land tax, environmental taxes such as Air Passenger Duty and the climate change levy.

Intellectual Property Office

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is the official UK government body that can help you get the right type of protection for your creation or invention. It’s responsibilities include examining issuing or rejecting patents whilst maintaining registers of intellectual property.

Find out more information

UK Trade & Investment

The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK based businesses of all sizes to provide advice, expertise and support so to ensure their success within international markets. There are a variety of export services available from online information, overseas events, international trade advisors and bespoke exporting strategies.

Find out more information