Support for employers and businesses
Updated 4 August 2020
We are working with partners to do everything we can to support our people and businesses in Essex. We will keep you updated on developments.
In the meantime, GOV.UK have published coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance for:
Business support packages
Use GOV.UK's business support finder tool to see what support is available for you and your business.
Visit GOV.UK for the latest information on the government’s business support packages.
- Register for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme (food businesses). Registration closes 31 August 2020.
- the Job Retention Scheme
- deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
- statutory sick pay rebate
- business rates holiday
- small businesses grants and retail and hospitality grants (contact your local authority for information and how to apply)
- access to finance
There are also various loan schemes on offer:
- Bounce Back Loan Scheme offers small and medium-sized businesses the opportunity to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover (up to a maximum of £50,000), interest free for 12months
- Future Fund provides loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors
- Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides access to loans and finance up to £5million to businesses with a turnover of up to £45 million
- Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides access to loans of up to £200 million to business with a turnover of more than £45 million
- Corporate Financing Facility will help large businesses through the purchase of their short-term debt
Other guidance and support is available for:
- protection from eviction for commercial tenants
- financial assistance for employers unable to pay statutory redundancy payments
- advice for employers on social distancing during coronavirus
The government’s business support site offers guidance on a wider range of business support, including innovation and exporting.
The Department for Work and Pensions have launched a new website, Support for employers from Jobcentre Plus, to help businesses overcome challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Support for the self-employed
The government has announced grant support for self-employed workers. This scheme will allow you to claim a taxable grant worth 80% of your trading profits up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for the next 3 months. It will be available from June 2020.
In the meantime, if you have a low income, consider claiming tax credit. If you're already claiming tax credit or Child Tax Credit, you may need to let HMRC know about your change in circumstances because of the coronavirus.
Check which benefits you may be entitled to so you can make an informed choice.
Essex County Council publications
We have published some guides to help businesses in Essex get back to work after lockdown:
- Smarter Working in Essex - A guide for businesses (PDF, 6.5MB) helping businesses to cope with changes in working practices, new thinking about workspaces and creative uses of new technologies
- Smarter Travel for Essex - Travelling to work post COVID-19 (PDF, 560KB) advice and guidance for businesses and employees on travel options
Other business advice and support
The BEST Growth Hub provide regular updates on guidance for businesses.
The Essex Chambers of Commerce offers local advice and support.
Back to Business Essex provides 12 hours of free advice.
Colbea is offering free advice and support to all Essex businesses.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has published guidance to help businesses bring employees back into the workplace safely.
The National Cyber Security Centre has produced guidance that recommends steps you can take if your organisation is introducing (or scaling up the amount of) home working.
- setting up new accounts and accesses
- preparing your staff for home working
- controlling access to corporate systems
- helping staff to look after devices
- spotting email scams linked to the coronavirus
You can visit our business pages for all the usual business information.
If you are an employee or you are currently looking for work, visit our support with work and finances page.
There are a number of business organisations to support you, including:
- the South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) offer advice and support to local businesses
- the Federation of Small Businesses give advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed
- the London Growth Hub lists national organisations that can help businesses
- ACAS offer a range of advice and support to businesses
Business training and webinars
Visit the University of Essex and ACAS sites for business training and webinars in response to coronavirus.
The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a National Careers Service Skills Toolkit offering access to free digital and numeracy courses for individuals who have been furloughed and want to learn new skills, who are out of work and want to improve their CV, or those who just want to improve their skills, progress in work and boost their job prospects.
The Health and Safety Executive site includes the latest information and advice about coronavirus.
Security businesses and staff
Security staff are at the forefront of supporting the public to adjust to life post lockdown and the latest COVID-19 safety measures.
On behalf of Essex Resilience Forum we have produced coronavirus safety tips for security staff and for business operators.
If you can't find the answer to your question in the links above, please complete our online form and one of our team will get back to you.
You can also find the latest updates on our social media channels, specifically for Business Support:
Business Support Helpline (England)
If you’ve tried seeking help locally and still have an issue you’ve been unable to resolve, you can try the national Business Support Helpline. We would encourage you to contact us, using the form above first, as we should be able to help answer most questions.
Business Support Helpline (England): 0300 456 3565
Available Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm