Business support during the coronavirus outbreak

Apply for grant funding, find advice and get support for your business.

Government support

The government have launched a new tool to help you find coronavirus financial support for your business. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants; this support finder will help you to see what support is available for you and your business.

Free business support from Essex County Council

Get free advice and support for your business to help it grow during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This is a fully-funded service offered by Essex County Council and provided via Back to Business Essex.

Business Growth Grant

From Monday 15 June the South East Business Boost Growth Grant scheme is open for applications from small to medium sized businesses for grants to fund up to 30% of the total cost of purchasing a wide range of capital items related to increasing sales, improving productivity and boosting profitability.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS)

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) is a new scheme designed to enable businesses to access finance more quickly during the coronavirus outbreak.

Support for self employed people

If you're self-employed or a member of a partnership in the UK and have lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19) there there is funding and information available to support you

Schemes available though the council

Through us, the government has made two grants available to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. Additionally, some businesses are entitled to a bushiness rates holiday.

Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund

The government has announced top-up funding to allow councils to make grant payments to businesses that have not been able to access support through other COVID-19 related grant schemes.

Grants of up to £10,000 will be available, and in exceptional circumstances a grant of £25,000 could be paid out. Applications closed on Sunday 21 June.

Small business, retail, hospitality and leisure grants fund

There are two grant funding schemes:

  • £10,000 under the Small Business Grant Fund
  • Either £10,000 or £25,000 under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund

Applications to the small business, retail, hospitality and leisure grants fund closed on Friday 28 August.

Business rates relief

Retail rates relief

Businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors will pay no business rates in 2020-21.

You could qualify for retail discount if your business is a:

  • Shop
  • Restaurant, café, bar or pub
  • Cinema or music venue
  • Hospitality or leisure business - for example, a gym, a spa, a casino or a hotel

Relief for child care providers

Nurseries will not have to pay businesses rates for one year commencing April 2020.

Contact us to find out if you're eligible or you can your check eligibility for the retail, hospitality and leisure scheme and eligibility for the nursery scheme on the government website.

If you're eligible, you could get 100% off your business rates bill for the 2020 to 2021 tax year (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021).

You can get the retail discount on top of any other business rates relief you're eligible for.

You can view your business rates account by using our business rates online service. If you do not already have an account you can sign up today.

Loans, support and advice

The British Business Bank has a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs.

The Bank of England has launched a COVID Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF) to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans.

Because of coronavirus you may be able to delay (defer) some tax payments without paying a penalty to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The BEST Growth Hub has a wide range of advice and guidance available to help businesses and employers.


For health professionals, businesses, schools and other organisations on GOV.UK

For food businesses on GOV.UK

For businesses that want to offer takeaway and delivery

Suppliers to the council