Support to Essex Businesses ramps up

Business / Sat 24th Oct 2020 at 04:17pm

ESSEX leaders are supporting local businesses following a challenging summer and the move to the High local Covid alert level.

In addition to Government support of £4.5 million for Essex announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, The County Council has already agreed an additional £5m for its own funding to tackle the challenging economic conditions.

The County Council has announced a new commercial investment fund which will focus on economic growth, with up to £100m investment in commercial opportunities, alongside plans to improve digital connectivity in homes and businesses across Essex.

The County Council and District, Borough and City Councils will be working with local firms and other partners to deliver fast, targeted support and promote Essex businesses and high streets.

All Essex businesses will also be eligible for 12 hours’ free advice from Back to Business Essex, until 30 March 2021. This is fully funded by Essex County Council and delivered by the Let’s Do Business group.

Where space is limited for businesses in the hospitality sector, the County Council will work with district councils to streamline the process for tables and chairs to be placed on footways and suitable roads to provide more flexibility to businesses on how they deliver their services to customers.

Visit Essex has re-launched the Great Days Out, Close to Home campaign, which has received an Autumn refresh to support the local tourism, hospitality and retail sectors by encouraging people to discover and visit the many hidden gems and attractions especially during the approaching school half-term holiday.

At a meeting involving the leaders of all Essex Councils today (23 October 2020), chaired by ECC Leader Cllr David Finch, it was agreed that alongside these initiatives, part of the £4.5m of funding from central Government would be used to provide support to businesses most affected by the High local Covid alert level. The remainder would be used to support vulnerable people, including extra support for foodbanks, mental health and domestic abuse.

Cllr Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, said: “We are moving ahead with plans to put real support in place for businesses – with the Government’s funding and our own investment, we can provide valuable support in the short term to help support the sectors most impacted by High local alert level restrictions.”

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