Extra £7.2m in Covid-19 support to Essex businesses

Essex County Council

Essex County Council is providing an extra £7.2m to help businesses affected by Covid-19 restrictions. - Credit: Archant

Essex County Council is providing an extra £7.2m to businesses in the county affected by coronavirus restrictions.

It includes a new Additional Business Support Grant which makes £5,000 available to those excluded from accessing other Covid-19 financial support schemes.

This comprises the newly self-employed, businesses who do not have rateable premises and suppliers to industries which have had to remain closed for all or part of the pandemic.

A total of £6.2m of the additional grant funding is available for district councils to bid into immediately with a further £1m to be made available once expected additional funding is released by government.

The latest announcement follows the £2.2m of business grant support already earmarked by ECC in October 2020.

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The £7.2m package also extends the Essex Business Adaptation Grant scheme until July 2021.

This provides grants of up to £1,500 to help businesses put in place safety measures to protect customers and employees, help diversify the way they operate, fund new technology and support home working.

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Essex's city, district and borough councils are already helping businesses with their applications for £13m of discretionary business grants provided by the government at the start of January.

Currently, an extra £1m in Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans is also available to firms in the county.

Councillor Tony Ball, ECC's cabinet member for Economic Development, said the availability of financial support to firms can play a big part in ensuring economic recovery.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has led to rapidly increasing rates of unemployment in Essex and the new grant funding of up to £7.2m is designed to inject additional support to where it’s needed most, including for those businesses who have previously been unable to access financial support.

"Every business matters and we want to boost the recovery of the Essex economy and do all we can to get Essex back to business."

Visit the financial support page at www.essex.gov.uk for more information and on how to apply for a grant.

The Best Growth Hub on 0300 303 4864 is also helping businesses understand how to apply for the available grants.

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