Business Support and Advice

The Economic Development Team is one of the business facing departments of the Council and comprises of two Economic Development Officers, dealing with business support enquiries and inward investment enquiries concerning new businesses into our district or existing businesses wishing to expand.

Paula Chapman – Economic Development Officer (Mon-Wed)
Cheryl Milton-White – Economic Development Officer (Thu-Fri)

Our aim is to assist local businesses to grow and develop, to promote new business start-ups, to nurture and inspire entrepreneurial talent, and to encourage existing businesses to relocate to the Rochford District.  We help businesses access the support they need whether that is from the Economic Development Team directly, other Council departments or external organisations.  Every business is different and has different needs so whatever you need we can help to point you in the right direction.  We are also passionate about promoting tourism within the District and supporting businesses who want to engage with the tourism sector.

For details of funding schemes (e.g. grants or loans) to help your business grow, please visit our Business Funding page, which can be accessed via the link in Related Content. 

If you are thinking of relocating your business to Rochford District, or wish to learn more about the fantastic opportunities here for new and existing businesses, please visit the Invest in Rochford page in Related Content for further details.

For any business support queries you may have, please contact us using this form

Who we work with

BEST Growth Hub logoBest Growth Hub

Essex businesses of all sizes, from innovative young enterprises to long-established firms, can access a free and impartial business support service from the BEST Growth Hub.

BEST Growth Hub provides access to a wide range of business support including; advice, grants, workshops and events. With an enthusiastic team of Business Navigators and Business Advisors they can help your business to achieve its growth potential.

For more information speak to one of the team today on 0300 303 4864 or visit their website in Related Content to register your details.

The Chambers of Trade (3 Chambers)

The Chamber of Trade & Commerce is the principal link between the local commercial and business community providing it with a voice both locally and nationally.

Funding has been provided by Rochford District Council to enable websites to be setup for the Districts three Chambers of Trade and Commerce, Hockley, Rochford and Rayleigh. Now all news and events are quickly and freely available to all members, together with notices, minutes and agendas. Each member has their own home page and any member can easily contact another and see what goods and services are available or link to their own individual websites. For more information, visit their website in Related Content.

Essex Chambers of Commerce

Essex Chambers of Commerce, the home of business right across the county helping businesses from SME’s through to national and international companies to succeed.  Focusing on three essentials to help your business grow:- International Trade, Business Support and Campaigning. They have been speaking up for business for over a hundred years and could add their voice to yours.  For more information, visit their website in Related Content.

The Federation of Small Businesses

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) are experts in business, offering their members a wide range of vital business services including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in government. Their aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions.  For more information, visit their website in Related Content.

Back to Business Essex

‘Back to Business Essex’ which is delivered by Let’s Do Business Group, is a business support service fully funded by Essex County Council which gives Essex businesses up to 12 hours of professional, one-to-one business advice and mentoring support to help them overcome the challenges of COVID-19.

From accessing business funding to marketing and refining your brand, the expert team of experienced business professionals are working directly with Essex businesses helping them get back on track and most importantly, helping them plan for the future.

Concentrating on five key pillars of sustainable business, the ‘Back to Business Essex’ specialist team can provide advice and guidance on:

  • Finance and Risk
  • Marketing
  • Workplace Operations
  • Human Capital
  • Supply Chains 

For further details of the support available, please visit their website: or alternatively email: or call their freephone number on 0800 970 8981.

Department for International Trade

Dit logo

Department for International Trade’s (DIT) customised business support services provide an outstanding opportunity for you to grow your business internationally. With a network of offices in over 100 countries and expert International Growth Advisers based in your area, DIT is ideally placed to help you succeed in global markets and their local International Trade Team can add value to your business. For further information, please view the ‘Dept for International Trade services leaflet’, or visit the ‘Help to sell abroad’ link in Related Content.


NWES logoEstablished in 1982, Nwes is the UK’s largest not-for-profit Enterprise Agency. We work in partnership to provide total business support, boost self-employment and encourage entrepreneurial skills throughout the East of England, East Midlands and London.

Nwes offers 1-to-1 business advice, a range of business and personal skills workshops, networking events, access to finance, and managed business workspace, which includes conference and meeting rooms, and virtual office solutions for those wishing to start or grow a business.

With Business Advisors available to support new and growing businesses throughout Essex, Nwes has thriving business centres in Harlow, Grays and Tilbury offering high specification managed office space.

To learn more about Nwes, please visit their website under Related Content.


Colbea logo

Colchester Business Enterprise Agency have been offering advice and training to businesses in Colchester for 37 years and they are now extending these services to other ​parts of Essex.

Initially it will be in the form of fully funded, one hour, One to One business advice sessions online, where a fully qualified business adviser will be able to answer your questions on:

• Business Planning and Finance
• Sales and Marketing, social media and websites
• Protection of Intellectual Property
• The merits of Sole Traders, Partnerships or Limited Companies
• Community Interest Companies or other forms of not for profit organisations.
• Keeping Accounting Records
• Start-up Loans – including mentoring support
• Other forms of Funding and Grants

Please book your time by contacting them via their website here

Small Business Commissioner

The Small Business Commissioner (SBC) is an independent public body appointed by the government under the Enterprise Act 2016 to tackle late payment and poor payment practice in the private sector of the UK.

The SBC operates a complaints scheme where small businesses can present their complaints in writing about payment issues they are experiencing with larger businesses.

The complaint must relate to late or non-payment by a larger business to a smaller business, the dispute must not be contractual, and the dispute must not be subject to or have been previously determined via the courts.

Where complaints fall outside the legal scope of the complaints scheme, we will still do as much as we can to resolve the dispute including signpost to relevant alternative existing support and dispute resolution services.

We are an impartial and free service.

For more information, please watch the video on their website:

small business commissioner banner logo