Cost of doing business

Support and services available for businesses worried about rising costs.

Updated 21 September 2022

We know that businesses are worried about rising costs and the impacts this may have on your business and employees.

We've produced a summary of support and services, which may be able to help you during this difficult time.

We'll update this page as more support becomes available.

Energy bills

The government has outlined new plans to help cut energy costs for businesses, charities and public sector organisations.

You can also contact the government’s free business support helplines.

Ofgem has made a list of useful tips to help businesses. To find business energy efficiency grants and schemes, and energy efficiency advice, see Ofgem's guide.

Citizens Advice offers free, independent advice about business energy contracts and your rights.

  • Call 0808 223 1133 or use their online webchat.
  • For textphone, dial 18001, followed by the helpline number.
  • Someone at their Extra Help Unit could take on your case if you are having difficulties with a supplier and are in a vulnerable situation.

Federation of Small Businesses has published an energy management plan, to help businesses monitor energy usage and discover ways of reducing wasted energy, including heat controllers, insulation, and LED lights.

Cost-related business support and advice

Colbea and Auditel offer Colchester-based businesses a free to use commercial cost review of overheads, to identify current usage and spending and highlight potential opportunities for improved service, reduced admin and lower cost. Find out more about the Colchester Business Cost Reduction Programme.

The Low Carbon Across the South and East (LoCASE) programme provides free business support to help businesses become more profitable while protecting the environment and encouraging low-carbon solutions. This can include grants for businesses of up to £10,000.

Colbea is offering Low Carbon Sustainability Training to businesses in Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Tendring, Maldon, Uttlesford, Epping Forest, and Rochford.
This free training explains the jargon behind climate science, helping businesses to start measuring and reducing their footprint.

General business support

Together with our partners, we offer support for Essex businesses. Whether you're just starting out, need finance support, or looking to grow your business - we can help.

Recruitment support

Our Essex Opportunities portal offers employers a free service to recruit individuals with the necessary skills to start work immediately.

Employment Allowance

Employment Allowance allows eligible employers to reduce their annual National Insurance liability by up to £5,000.

Workplace Wellbeing

It is important for employers to understand the impacts stress and mental health can have on their business and employees, particularly for those employees experiencing the impacts of rising costs.

The Essex Wellbeing Service supports Essex businesses via their Working Well Accreditation. This consists of workplace health and wellbeing sessions, Mental Health First Aid training, and the Working Well Accreditation, where organisations can be recognised for their commitment to staff health and wellbeing.