Finding New Business Support in Essex
These have been a challenging few years for businesses across the Essex and London region. The fallout from the pandemic and a cost of living crisis now overtaking us are causing financial worries for all. So finding the right new business support, whether you’re a startup or an established company looking to grow, is critical.
At Neil Smith Accountancy, our team has been looking at the support available for new businesses in the Essex area.
Funding for Startups
Finding the right funding for your new Essex business can be difficult, especially in today’s fiscally tight environment. There are options, however, if you look hard enough.
Grants are usually non-repayable and can be given to startups if they meet certain requirements. Unfortunately there are few of these schemes on offer at the moment. Organisations such as startup.co.uk offer listings of all the current business loans and grants available in both Essex and the rest of the UK.
The more obvious option is a business loan, which can be accessed from a variety of different sources, including banks. It’s important, however, to make sure you are getting a good deal. This is one of the reasons it’s always a good idea to discuss things with a qualified chartered accountant.
For younger entrepreneurs, it can be difficult to find funding from institutions such as banks. There are some options, however. The Princes Trust, for example, offers some small grants to 18 to 30-year-olds who have a good business plan.
Angels@Essex is a group developed by the University of Essex at the Knowledge Gateway. Supported by a team of experts, the platform puts potential investors in contact with entrepreneurs who want to develop new technologies.
Another key option is the Funding Circle which is accredited by the government-owned British Business Bank. With rates of 3.9% a year, you can borrow between £10,000 and £500,000. So far the company has loaned more than £13 billion to companies in the UK.
Business Support Also Means Business Advice
Almost as important as finding finance for your new business venture is getting the right advice as your journey begins. The good news is this is readily available in and around Essex. There are several different options to choose from; we look into some below.
Colbea is a not-for-profit organisation that is focused on helping startups and businesses looking to grow. They do this by offering training and advice on business ideas as well as providing office space, virtual solutions and networking opportunities. Based in Colchester, they’ve helped thousands of new businesses get started since setting up back in 1982. Find out more.
2. Backing Essex Business
Run through the local Essex council, this scheme offers up to around 12 hours of free business support for startups and growing businesses. This includes access to finance specialists, how to build an effective marketing strategy, employing staff and managing your supply chain. Find out more.
3. BEST Growth Hub
This is part of a national network that aims to help support both new and existing businesses to grow to their full potential. It works with entrepreneurs to, for example, find the right funding and business set-up that meets their needs. Much of the specialist business support is provided free of charge. Find out more.
Networking is key to any successful business and Group2Grow gives you access to established entrepreneurs in and around Essex. This is a good place to get informal advice and build connections that help you move your new business forward. Find out more.
5. Your Friendly Local Accountant
Working with a chartered accountant can also support your new business in many different ways. Your accountant is a useful resource and will help you stay on top of your bookkeeping and maximise your resources. Want to find out more? Contact the team at Neil Smith Accountancy in Essex today.