Chelmsford City Council

Support for businesses

Coronavirus has had an unprecedented effect on the economy at both a national and a local level. The impact of the pandemic has been far-reaching and the long term implications are hard to predict.

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

The partnership includes: 

  • Braintree District Council
  • Chelmsford City Council
  • Colchester Borough Council
  • Essex County Council
  • Maldon District Council
  • Tendring District Council
  • Uttlesford District Council


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 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.

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 the last year. 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 online application form.

There are limited funds for this scheme, and we will assess applications on a first come basis. We will notify all successful applicants. Membership runs until 30 June 2022. You can download the Visit Essex’s Terms and Conditions for full details.

Click It Local logo

We have joined up with Click It Local to support local independent retail businesses.

Click It Local is a virtual high street that allows shoppers to buy from any local independent shop, and have it delivered straight to their door on the same day.

When joining Click It Local you can:

  • set-up your local virtual shop
  • be part of a local high-street online in Chelmsford
  • add unlimited products
  • receive online orders and payments
  • track orders, collections and deliveries

Click It Local collect and deliver orders at no extra cost t you (the customer pays delivery directly to Click It Local, starting from £3).

There are no sign-up fees to join Click It Local. They only take 7.5% from any sales, plus a stripe fee of 1.4% + 20p.

To support local businesses, we have secured an exclusive deal for Chelmsford businesses. Until Marcg 2022, your business can benefit from a 0% fee.

Click It Local launched on 1 April and you can sign-up to create your profile.

If you would like to learn more about how to get involved, you can contact Harriet at Click It Local by emailing

We have partnered with the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to support small businesses during these challenging times.

We have fully subsidised business memberships, which has meant that almost 300 businesses are benefiting from a year’s FSB membership absolutely free.

We have now allocated all the funding for this scheme, and so are now reviewing the scheme’s success.

You can keep checking back for future updates.

We have partnered with the Essex Chambers of Commerce to provide a fully-funded programme of support to Chelmsford businesses who import and export. The programme offers much-needed international trade support to help businesses trade confidently and compliantly.

Membership benefits

If you qualify for the programme, you will receive a full 12 month membership to the Essex Chambers of Commerce and access to all standard benefits and services, including:

  • free or discounted events and training
  • general business support
  • member-to-member introductions
  • article submission to Grapevine e-zine
  • discounted Chamber products and services
  • a Members-only area that includes the members database 
  • submission to the Member2Member offer area

International Trade Officer

You can also benefit from an initial 1-2-1 advisory session with an International Trade Officer. This can be adapted around the need of your business to create a suggested Support Plan. The plan will include:

  • two full-day and one half-day training courses from a BCC accredited training programme, or bespoke assistance/consultancy to the value of £850 (excluding VAT)
  • two free international trade events 
  • 50% discounts on our export documentation 
  • international trade support and guidance throughout the year
  • access to the Chamber Customs Declarations Service
  • access to our international products and services
  • receipt of the international trade newsletter
  • access to our global business network, including introductions to our key contacts

For further information and to apply for the scheme, you can visit the Essex Chambers of Commerce’s website.

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Last updated: 27 September 2021

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