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Business Support

Business Support

The Economic Growth Team

The Economic Growth Team is Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s first point of contact for businesses, from the smallest through to the very largest. We offer a range of expertise and advice to support local businesses. 
Please contact the team for help and advice in the following areas:

  • Business start-up support - Information and guidance for those seeking to set-up a business in Southend
  • Business support - Information and guidance for businesses on a broad range of business topics
  • Skills development - Helping businesses to meet their skills and training needs
  • Funding information - Access to a range of funding and finance options for local businesses
  • Sign posting - To specialised business support agencies and partners

To contact the team call 01702 215022 or email

The BEST Growth Hub

The BEST Growth Hub aims to help your business to identify and realise its potential with free business support.  They can help with information, resources and advice for your business on a range of topics, including: finance, grants, skills, workforce development, premises, news, events and a local procurement platform.

To discuss any aspect of your business support, please contact the Business Navigator Team by calling 01702 417765 or visit

Southend Business Partnership

The Southend Business Partnership is a network of over 1500 businesses across Southend. The Partnership brings together businesses from all sectors, sizes and backgrounds to share best practice, contacts, knowledge and news.

The Partnership meets every quarter for an early morning networking session and to hear from business leaders on locally relevant subjects.  The latest news and opportunities are also made available to partnership members throughout the year via monthly e-newsletters.

To join the partnership for free and receive our monthly newsletters and event invitations please email

Murray Foster is the Chair of the Southend Business Partnership. Together with all the Partnership members, he would be delighted to see you at one of the meetings or to hear from you with suggestions about other ways in which the local economy can be supported.

Southend Borough Council Venue Hire

Southend Venues specialize in corporate training seminars, social events, business meetings, exhibitions and conferences. To arrange a viewing or for further information click here.

Grants, Loans, Investment

Whether your business is established and looking for an injection of cash or you are a start up and hoping to get additional support securing funding to help your business develop begins with careful thought and detailed planning.

Visit the BEST Growth Hub website for further information on the different funding options and the specific opportunities available in Southend and surrounding areas

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) offer a free e-learning tool advising on the Tax and National Insurance issues involved in starting your own business. The package can be completed in bite-size pieces and covers projects including:

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

Webinars, email alerts and information guides can be found on the HMRC website.

Other information can also be found on their YouTube channel and GOV.UK website.

Business Representation Organisations

Essex Chambers of Commerce

Essex Chamber of Commerce pledge to make available any product or service that helps companies to build a better business. This includes export support, skills training, business informaitona nd awareness services, a full range of business networking events and a host of other benefits. They creat overseas links and opportunties on behalf their Members and Patrons.

Federation of Small Business

The Federation of Small Business is a not for profit organisation that protects and promotes the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. It is one of the UK's leading busienss organisation representing small and medium businesses, with 200,000 members across 33 regions and 194 branches. They are a powerful lobbying organisation represneting small firms to national, local and devolved Goverment.

Institute of Directors

The Institute of Directors support professional leaders, encouraging entrepreneurial activity and promoting responsible business practice for the benefit of the business community and society as a whole. Their objective is to make sure that businesses views are taken into account when the government is reviewing policy, legislation and seeking the views of the wider business community.

Confederation of British Industry's

The CBI provide support for business people and their businesses on a national and international level. They speak for companies of every size, including SMEs, micro businesses, private and family owned businesses, start ups and trade associations.
They promote the conditions in which businesses of all sizes and sectors in the UK can compete and prosper for the benefit of all, by campaigning in the UK, the EU and internationally for a competitive policy landscape.

Social Enterprise

Click here for specific information about social enterprise.