The last few years have hit Chelmsford's local economy hard. As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, cost of living pressures and the energy crisis, Chelmsford businesses have faced challenges like never before.

We will do all we can to support businesses through these unpredictable times.

We have created an Economic Renewal Plan and offer a wide-ranging package of support initiatives. We want to help revitalise businesses and position them to make the most of opportunities.

We have also formed a unique partnership with councils across North and Mid Essex to develop a business support and skills programme. This will help businesses recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. You can read more about the North Essex Economic Board.

In addition, you can visit:

We have developed a business support booklet detailing the range of support that we can offer your business. 

You will receive a copy of the booklet with your business rate bill.

The plan draws on our 2020 business survey and a sets out a number of priorities that we are already working on.

The plan's key themes are:

  • business support
  • promotion of Chelmsford
  • skills

You can download our Economic Renewal Plan.

We have partnered with Visit Essex to give targeted support to businesses in the visitor economy. We know that the visitor economy has been particularly hard hit over recent times. So, we are keen to work with Visit Essex and businesses to provide support in this area.

With the free Visit Essex membership, you will be able to have your own entry on with online booking facilities. Visit Essex will also include your business in relevant marketing activities and campaigns.

In addition, you can enjoy:

  • access to free training courses
  • invitations to Visit Essex events
  • monthly member newsletters and industry updates
  • access to Visit Essex’s image library for you to use freely on your website to promote what Essex has to offer

To apply for this fantastic opportunity, you need to submit the Visit Essex membership application form.

You can download the Visit Essex’s Terms and Conditions for full details.

We are collaborating with local digital marketing experts, Better Agency, to help local business boost their marketing skills.

Following a successful series of in-person workshops in 2023, Better Agency will soon be launching a series of on-demand sessions, to teach you new marketing techniques and tools.

We will announce full details here and on our socials in early 2024.

We are working with MKR Solutions to support businesses to develop and carry out a decarbonisation plan. This will help businesses reduce their carbon footprint, increase productivity and make financial savings.

This programme gives 1-2-1 support and can help businesses from across all sectors. It focuses on the collective culture of continuous improvement to maintain and drive change in line with Net Zero goals.

To gain the most value from this programme, your businesses should be at least 18 months old.

Apply for Lean2Green support

We will assess applications individually and will notify you if you are successful.

We are working with Squarestar Digital to support Chelmsford businesses, so they can get the most out of paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

This training is specifically designed for businesses that currently use paid advertising on social media and that have a dedicated monthly budget for this.

The training will support businesses to use the best tools within the platforms to promote their business in a way that will generate the most benefit.

Apply for the training now

We will assess applications individually and will notify you if you are successful.

We recognise that businesses are worried about rising costs.

We have produced a summary of support and services which may be able to help you during this difficult time.

Energy bills

In September 2022, the government announced a Energy Bill Relief Scheme for businesses and other non-domestic energy users, to protect them from the soaring energy costs. 

Ofgem offers advice to businesses who are worried about their energy bills.

Citizens Advice also provide advice for small businesses who can’t afford their energy bills.

Reduce energy costs

Reducing energy and fuel usage not only reduces your carbon footprint, but also helps the bottom line.

The Carbon Trust's calculator helps small and medium-sized businesses assess typical energy use in their sector and also has a range of other online tools to help businesses reduce their energy and consumption costs.

Finance, loans and debt management

The Recovery Loan Scheme helps small and medium sized businesses access loans and finance to aid their recovery.

The British Business Bank has free resources around debt management, cash flow, and understanding and managing debt. If you are struggling to pay your self-assessment tax bill, HMRC is offering instalments and payment plans.

Business Debtline is a charity that provides free and independent debt advice over the phone and online. It also provides a range of debt advice factsheets on topics ranging from business debts, debt solutions to dealing with creditors.

Recruitment support

Skills and recruitment are key issues for businesses, and we are aware that many businesses are struggling to fill vacancies in the current climate.

Find a job service is the government’s official job vacancy service, supporting employers to fill their vacancies.

The Essex Opportunities Portal offers employers a free service to recruit individuals with the necessary skills to start work immediately. This one stop shop also provides information and advice on jobs, careers, skills, and training.

The Essex Wellbeing Service supports Essex businesses via their Working Well Accreditation.

This consists of:

  • workplace health and wellbeing sessions
  • Mental Health First Aid training
  • the Working Well Accreditation, where organisations can be recognised for their commitment to staff health and wellbeing

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