The last year has been the toughest many businesses have experienced. COVID-19 has forced many to shut their doors for extended periods. For others, sales have dropped and new customers and clients have been scarce. To keep going, a huge number of businesses have relied on government support packages. Even so, some firms have qualified for more financial help than others. To help them, local authorities are offering Additional Business Support Grants. Given that a good number of our clients are based in the county, this post looks at COVID Business Grants in Essex, who qualifies, and how to apply.
How much funding is available?
Back in January, Essex County Council (ECC) announced additional grant funding of up to £7.2 million for SMEs that previously fell outside the scope of central government COVID-19 support schemes. In addition, the city, borough and district councils in Essex had a combined pot with £13 million of discretionary grant funding. Then, in January Essex County Council announced a further £2 million to help ensure a successful opening of the economy.
ECC has worked with the city, district and borough councils to create a county-wide approach for these funding streams. SMEs can apply for the funding directly to their local authority.
Who is eligible for the COVID Business Grants in Essex?
The following types of SME can apply for funding.
A business which:
- forms part of the direct supply chain for hospitality, leisure or accommodation businesses including tourism
- supplies non-essential retail
- forms part of the direct supply chain for aviation businesses
- directly organises, facilitates or performs at organised events
- supplies to organised events
- is not on the rating list that has been forced to close either due to mandatory restrictions or due to the temporary close of their host premises (including non-essential market traders)
- can demonstrate a heavy reliance on the ability for people to travel
- relies on close physical contact (e.g. personal care workers, hair and beauty, driving instructors, taxi drivers etc)
- limited company directors, financially impacted by Covid-19, who are not located in rateable premises and who cannot furlough themselves and continue to work to save their business.
Essex Business Adaptation Grants
ECC has also made available £4.4 million of Essex Business Adaptation Grants. These are for businesses impacted by Covid-19, which can apply for funding of up to £1,500 to make adaptations to their businesses. The grants can be used to help keep staff in employment, improve the business and ensure the health and safety of employees and customers. They can also be used to develop new operating practices such as home-working, or to capitalise on new opportunities such as new click-and-collect, takeaway or delivery services.
Support and applications for COVID Business Grants in Essex
Support is available via the BEST Growth Hub, which helps businesses understand what grants are open to them.
To apply, businesses need to visit the website of their local city, borough or district council. These are:
- Castle Point
- Epping Forest
Alternatively, you can visit the financial support page on the ECC website. If you are a THP client and would like to discuss the available COVID business grants in Essex, please get in touch with your account manager.
About Ben Locker
Ben Locker is a copywriter who specialises in business-to-business marketing, writing about everything from software and accountancy to construction and power tools. He co-founded the Professional Copywriters’ Network, the UK’s association for commercial writers, and is named in Direct Marketing Association research as ‘one of the copywriters who copywriters rate’.