Business Support, Grants and Loans

If you are thinking about starting up a new business or even if you are already an established business, there's a host of business support and advice services available.

UK Shared Prosperity Fund ‘Extend the Season’ Event Grant Scheme

As of 25th September 2023, the events grant scheme is closed for applications while existing submissions are reviewed. 

If you have any queries regarding the grant scheme, please email

Tendring 4 Growth

Funded by Tendring District Council and provided by Colbea, this Business Service is available to the new and growing business community in the District. It consists of a specialist one-to-one advisory service with fully qualified advisors helping with all aspects of running a business. Advisors can also signpost you to our various development programmes, helping you to grow yourself, your staff, and your business. 

Contact Colbea today on or call 01206 548 833.

Colbea (Colchester Business Enterprise Agency)

Colbea supports businesses in Colchester and the surrounding areas, delivering around 1000 training events and advice sessions per year. Join their networking groups, access managed workspace and virtual office solutions as well as free business advice. Working in partnership with Tendring District Council as part of the Tendring4Growth initiative, up to 3 fully-funded sessions with an accredited business support advisor at Colbea are available to Tendring businesses to start up or grow. 

If you are looking to test your business idea, set up, or are ready to grow, Colbea has a programme to help you develop. A range of entrepreneurial training is available to support you and your business:

  • First Steps to Start up Success – a short course covering the main things to consider when starting a business aimed at those who are thinking of starting up or have recently started.
  • Young Persons Entrepreneurial & Employability Course – aimed at 18-24-year-olds looking to develop themselves for their first job or start their own business.
  • Change & Grow Programme – A series of masterclass development and mentoring sessions with a dedicated advisor to support you and your business. Intended for those who have already started on their business.

For more information, visit the Colbea website

BEST Growth Hub

The BEST Growth Hub provides businesses in Essex with a single point of access to a wide range of local, regional and national support.  Guiding and nurturing businesses – from start up to scale-up - their friendly and experienced team offer FREE and impartial signposting on funding and finance options, 1-2-1 business advice, skills and training and much more in order to help you find the right support for your business.

Contact the BEST Growth Hub by calling 03330 348998, emailing or click here to visit the website.

Backing Essex Business

The Backing Essex Business programme offers new and existing businesses up to 12 hours free business support. They can help you with business planning, funding, supply chain building, training and recruitment, and business evaluation.

Backing Essex Business are also one of the Essex providers for the Recovery Loan Scheme. If your business has been affected by the pandemic you could be eligible to borrow up to £150k to help your business recover. 

HM Revenue & Customs

‘Starting your own Business’ e-Learning Tool

HM Revenue & Customs provide a FREE e-learning tool that covers the tax and National Insurance issues involved in starting your own business.

The package can be completed in bite-size pieces and covers subjects including:

  • Starting in business
  • Registering your self employment
  • What records should I keep?
  • What can I claim against my income?
  • VAT registration
  • Becoming an employer

Incorporated into the package are learning checks and videos as well as links to further advice on YouTube & website. Start the tutorial here

Government Support  

There are a range of business allowances and tax incentives which businesses may be able to take advantage of. For up to date information the GOV.UK website has information on Grants and Government Support.

The GOV.UK website is a service designed to promote enterprise. Whether you are already running or growing a business or just starting out, the GOV.UK website is a good place to start as it provides easy-to-use, tailored information to help you start-up, improve or grow your business, features include:

  • A 'growth and improvement' service to make your business work better including: tools to help you diagnose and solve business problems, a business support finder, tutorials and video case studies, information on events in your area and links to business discussions and other services
  • If you are planning to start a business, or know someone who is, a whole new area of the Business Link website called 'My New Business' will provide tailored information and training to guide people through the process
  • If you are a business that needs support or a business professional who can offer support, the MentorsMe scheme can help you connect with each other. MentorsMe connects companies with mentoring organisations that can support and guide their growth

For further information on starting up or developing your business visit the GOV.UK website

Last updated on: 25/09/2023 - 11:40