Support for businesses

Help for new, growing and established businesses

Support for businesses of all sizes is available from the council and other organisations below.

See services we sell for commercial services for business available from the council.

How we can help

We provide a business support service in partnership with Let's Do Business Group which gives Essex businesses up to 12 hours of fully-funded advice. The range of business support services includes, but is not limited to:

  • business planning and marketing
  • providing connections to key personnel, prospective business partners and support organisations
  • identifying potential sources of business funding
  • building local supply chains
  • recruiting and training a high-quality workforce
  • accessing university knowledge and research and development expertise
  • evaluating and selecting an ideal business location, property or site.

To access our business support services visit the Backing Essex Business website.

Growth and funding opportunities

We help businesses to locate, grow and succeed in Essex, including assisting inward investors to relocate to the county. For inward investment support, please contact

BEST Growth Hub provides free support, including funding opportunities, to grow your business.

Essex County Council's International Trade team assists Essex businesses that are interested in the exporting abroad. It also helps foreign organisations find opportunities in Essex. To find out more, contact Peter Manning OBE at

GOV.UK’s get help and support for your business page offers advice on business planning, exporting and financial help from government-backed schemes.

Information and advice

Essex Libraries business reference has information on markets, other businesses, and industry journals.

Essex County Council has published the Smarter working in Essex - A guide for businesses to help businesses cope with changes in working practices, new thinking about workspaces and creative uses of new technologies.

The Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) provides advice for businesses on improving fleet and driver safety, ensuring that policies and practices meet statutory corporate responsibilities.

Training and apprenticeships

ACL Essex offers professional qualifications, apprenticeships and other training.

Apprenticeship Levy Transfer

If you are an organisation with a payroll of more than £3m, you pay a levy of 0.5% to fund apprenticeship training. If you do not use all of your funds, you can now transfer up to 25% of your levy to support another organisation.

Find out more about the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer on GOV.UK.

If you are interested in donating or receiving funds, you can search for a match on our Apprenticeship Levy Transfer service.

Venue hire

We offer venue hire at a number of our buildings, including:

Small and medium-sized businesses can access workspace and other support services at the council-funded Ongar Business Centre.

Businesses can access workspace at the following innovation hubs which are supported by the council:

  • ARISE (Anglia Ruskin Innovation Centre for Science and Engineering) in Chelmsford and Harlow Science Park
  • ICKG (University of Essex Innovation Centre Knowledge Gateway) in Colchester

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

Knowledge transfer partnerships are an opportunity for businesses and academic bodies to share expertise. They involve one or more graduates working in a company for between one and three years. They’ll draw on their academic knowledge while working on important projects for the company.

Partnerships are available with:

More information is available from the academic bodies in question.

Learn more about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at GOV.UK.

Disclosure and Barring Service

The eDBS Service offers Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and advice.