Business support


Essex is a county of small businesses and thriving entrepreneurship

If you are looking to set up your own business or have your own business and need a bit of help after the impact of COVID-19 then there are lots of organisations to help.

Each local council has an Economic Development Team which is the business-facing department of the Council. Their aim is to assist local businesses to grow and develop, to promote new business start-ups and to nurture and inspire entrepreneurial talent.

The team helps businesses access the support they need whether that is from the Economic Development Team directly, other Council departments or external organisations. Every business is different and has different needs so whatever you need, they can help to point you in the right direction.

Rochford Council

Economic Development Team:
01702 318060

Southend Council

01702 215022

Basildon for Business

01268 20 67 50

Thurrock Council

Economic Development Team:
01375 652271

Thurrock Adult Community College

Corporate Training:

Thurrock Business Support Programme

Free one-to-one support is available to Thurrock businesses’ through the Thurrock Business Support programme. This is delivered by experienced business advisors Bizphit and is tailored to suit businesses individual needs. Discussions can cover topics such as business planning, start-up advice, marketing and procurement. Up to 4 one hour meetings are available, either face-to-face or virtual. To find out more contact business@thurrock.gov.uk.

South Essex College Workforce Team

South Essex College has a specialist team who can help businesses, whatever shape or size, with training and development or anything related to apprenticeships. Please contact them on apprenticeships@southessex.ac.uk or call 01702 221800 if you are interested in employing an apprentice or have any training needs for your staff.

Southend Adult Community College

SACC is able to offer employers and businesses individualised training to upskill staff in this changing environment. We also run an apprenticeship programme and can guide you through the process. If you are interested please contact our Employer Engagement manager at sacc@southend-adult.ac.uk

Best Growth Hub

Essex businesses of all sizes, from innovative young enterprises to long-established firms, can access a free and impartial business support service from the BEST Growth Hub.

BEST Growth Hub provides access to a wide range of business support including; advice, grants, workshops and events and skills and training services

With an enthusiastic team of Business Navigators and Business Advisors they can help your business to achieve its growth potential, for more information speak to one of the team today on 01702 417765

Colchester Business Enterprise Agency

COLBEA offers advice and training to businesses. Contact them and a fully qualified business adviser will be able to answer your questions on:

  • Business planning and finance
  • Sales and marketing, social media and websites
  • Protection of intellectual property
  • The merits of sole traders, partnerships or limited companies
  • Community interest companies or other forms of not for profit organisations
  • Keeping accounting records
  • Start-up loans – including mentoring support
  • Other forms of funding and grants


Established in 1982, Nwes is the UK’s largest not-for-profit Enterprise Agency. They work in partnership to provide total business support, boost self-employment and encourage entrepreneurial skills throughout the East of England, East Midlands and London.

Nwes offers one-to-one business advice, a range of business and personal skills workshops, networking events, access to finance, and managed business workspace, which includesing conference and meeting rooms, and virtual office solutions for those wishing to start or grow a business.

With business advisors available to support new and growing businesses throughout Essex, Nwes has thriving business centres in Harlow, Grays and Tilbury offering high-specification, managed office space.