Colchester Borough Council is awarding the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) an additional £20,000 to help support local businesses recovering from Covid-19.
The funding follows an initial £9,450 that the council awarded Colbea in April, allowing the agency to provide support through email, telephone and fully-funded 1:1 business advice sessions. In June alone, 147 local businesses contacted Colbea – a rise of 61% over the same time last year.
Councillor David King, Portfolio Holder for Business and Resources, said: “Many local businesses have struggled through the crisis. Many have already relied on Colbea to find better ways of managing the difficulties of lock-down and to respond to changes in the marketplace and how people now shop. That advice can be the difference between success and failure for a business and the retention or loss of jobs.
“We face our own pressures as a council, but it is an absolute priority for us to help employers and their staff through to better times. I am hugely pleased to fund extended 1:1 business advice support until the end of March 2021.
“I would urge any business needing advice, support or training to visit the Colbea website and book an appointment with one of their fantastic advisors.”
Councillor King added: “This is just one of many ways the council is supporting the recovery of the local economy. We have distributed over £33m in grants, conducted a survey with nearly 400 local businesses to help coordinate a borough wide recovery response, and continue to work with partners and the Business Improvement District to ensure consumers can return with confidence to Colchester town centre.”
Colbea Chief Executive, Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford (pictured), said: “Our initial funding enabled us to signpost businesses to the correct funding available and to help them adapt their services and prepare for re-opening safely. This further grant will allow us to help with their recovery and give them the advice and support needed to future-proof their businesses, making them stronger than ever. It will also allow for the growth of new business, as we have seen a large increase in demand for business advice from pre-starts and 25-34 year-olds, who are one of the hardest hit demographics.”
For more information on Colbea and to book a fully-funded appointment with an advisor, call 01206 548833 between 9:00am and 5:00pm or email email@example.com. An advisor will contact you within two working days. A designated webpage on coronavirus business advice and frequently asked questions can be found at https://colbea.co.uk/business-advice-coronavirus/
For information on the council’s response to COVID-19 and on business grants visit www.colchester.gov.uk/coronavirus.