Support for employers and businesses

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.

This includes:

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 £45million
  • Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides access to loans of up to £25million to business with a turnover of more than £45million
  • Corporate Financing Facility will help large businesses through the purchase of their short-term debt

Other guidance and support is available for:

The government’s business support site offers guidance on a wider range of business support, including innovation and exporting.

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.

You may wish to consider claiming Universal Credit. There is a 5 week wait for payments, but it's possible to get an advanced payment.

Check which benefits you may be entitled to so you can make an informed choice.

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.

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.

Colbea is offering free advice and support to all Essex businesses.

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.

Guidance includes:

  • 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.

Business organisations

There are a number of business organisations to support you, including:

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.

Care providers

The Living Well Essex site includes updates from us about coronavirus.

The Health and Safety Executive site includes the latest information and advice about coronavirus.

Contact us

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

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