Thursday 15th December 

Small Business Saturday Winners to be annouced!

We are delighted to annouce that the winners from Small Business Saturday will be announced tomorrow!

The judges have selected one winner from each of the follwoing areas: Westcliff, Thorpe Bay and Shoebury, Eastwood, Southchurch, Leigh and Southend. 

A fantastic presentation evening will be held at Gleneagles Guesthouse!

Each winner will win a cream tea for two at Gleneagles Guesthouse and will be put into the overall winners draw, with the chance to win a promotional video of their festive biz!

We will be announcing the winners tomorrow morning via our @businessonsea twitter!

If you have any questions please email us on 

Friday 8th December

Careers and Enterprise Funding Success

We are pleased to announce that Business on Sea has been awarded £88,000 of funding to develop and upscale the original 60 Minute Mentor Programme, reaching the whole South Essex Region. This will include Basildon, Thurrock, Rochford, Castle Point and Southend-on-Sea.

In total, 39 mentoring organisations across the country have secured funds following a competitive bid process to see a full list of beneficiaries can be found here

The Careers and Enterprise Company is committed to increasing the mentoring provision in the country improving the lives and opportunities available to young people. Research has shown that young people benefit greatly from career talks and mentoring programmes, please click here to see just one example

Wednesday 7th December

FREE workshops across Essex for buisnesses

A new round of free workshops have been set up by The BEST Growth Hub following demand from the businesses in the local area.

These workshops are all free, generally between 1 - 2 hours and located across the whole of Essex. 

Workshop topics include

How to maximise the reach of your business using Google

What makes a good website 

Presenting and pitching for business

Twitter for business 

Time management secrets in a nutshell

SEO - Search Engine Optimisation

Human Resource Management for Beginners

How to turn a hobby into a business

Apprenticeships for SMEs

For more information about these and all the other workshops avaliable click on the follwoing link 

Monday 26th November

Your Creative Network Group Event 07/12/16 10-am -12:30am

Come along for our Christmas Networking Event.

We have some interesting speakers specifically for the Creative and Cultural industry.

You will have the opportunity to network with likeminded business owners and professionals over tea, coffee, mulled wine and Christmas treats!

To book your free place click here 

Friday 25th November 

Demolition experts plan to remove the footbridge over the A127 at Kent Elms junction this weekend as part of a major project to improve traffic flow and road safety at the junction.

Subject to low winds and favourable weather, contractor Eurovia is scheduled to remove the footbridge overnight on Friday and Saturday night, with Sunday night as a contingency, from 7pm to 7.30am.

The demolition crew plans to remove the main span on Friday night to Saturday morning, with the stepped ramps either side being removed between Saturday night and Sunday morning. If work is hampered by poor weather, work will continue from Sunday night.

Cllr Tony Cox, Executive Councillor for Transport, Waste and Cleansing, said: “Widening the junction at Kent Elms is a much needed and long-awaited project that will help better manage current and future traffic levels along the A127 into Southend.

“As the main route into and out of the Borough, the A127 is critical to the town’s prosperity. Removing the bridge will be the first major milestone in this project and will create the room needed to widen the junction.

“The safety of pedestrians and road users is our top priority, which is why crossing patrol officers will be deployed during term times for the duration of the project to escort pedestrians across the toucan crossing. We also have our own road safety advisers on site for the next few weeks, while people get used to the change.

“As with any project of this size, some disruption is inevitable. However, both the Council and Eurovia have committed to keeping disruption to a minimum by carefully considering how and when we work.”

Eastbound and westbound diversion routes will be in place whilst the work takes place to enable the bridge to be removed safely.

Residents and businesses close to the junction are being notified of the work by the contractor’s Public Liaison Officer. Access to properties will be maintained at all times and bus services are unaffected.

What is the Kent Elms project?

The £6.5m Kent Elms junction upgrade aims to improve the traffic flow across this key junction into and out of the town and make it easier for people with impaired mobility and those with pushchairs to cross the highway. A replacement footbridge will be provided in a similar location to the old one, which will be have both accessible ramps and new stairs. The pedestrian crossing of the A127, next to the Kent Elms surgery, which opened in December 2015, will be retained and modified. A new surface-level pedestrian crossing will be introduced across the A127 to the east of the junction near Mendip Crescent. There will also be a new pedestrian crossing in Rayleigh Road, at the junction. These will be timed to coincide with the main traffic light sequence. Work will continue through to May 2017. The majority of the funding for the Kent Elms junction improvement (£5.1m) is from the Government’s Local Growth Fund, with the remainder coming from the Council’s Capital budget.

Keeping you informed

Further details about both projects will also be available at with regular updates sent via Twitter at @bettersouthend. You can also email any queries to

Monday 21st November

Small Business Saturday sponsored by Gleneagles Guest House

Small Business Saturday sponsored by Gleneagles Guest House
As part of our Small Business Saturday celebrations this year we will be hosting the #BestFestiveBiz again! We will be judging the businesses which have decorated their business for Christmas; there will be a winner for each of the areas in Southend (Leigh, Shoeburyness/Thorpe bay, Westcliff, Eastwood, Southend and Southchurch).

Gleneagles Guesthouse will be offering a cream tea for each winner and a friend!

To find out more or how you can enter email the team on

Friday 17th November

Event Success

This week the economic development team hosted two successful events. On Tuesday the team organised the Open Access event in partnership with Southend JobCentre Plus and was hosted in the Victoria Shopping Centre. We had over 25 stalls from the public sector set up to spread the word about the services available to Southend residents from leisure and tourism activities, benefits, to employment teams.

We were also delighted to have The Mayor open the event.
On Thursday we hosted our November Business Briefing with key note speakers Andrew Flatt local entrepreneur and Jonathan Denby from Abellio greater Anglia. We had over 100 local businesses attend the event which was hosted by the Genting Casino.

Wednesday 16th November

Women in Innovation awards 2016 

Fifteen of the UK’s most innovative women have been honoured at an awards ceremony at London’s Royal Society of Arts yesterday launched by Innovate UK.

The competition was set up to help towards removing barriers for female entrepreneurs. Each winner receives £50,000 and a tailored business support package. They will also receive mentoring from Innovate UK’s list of well-known business leaders, who are also ambassadors for the infocus campaign.

To find out more about the inspirational winners and the competition please click here.

Friday 11th November

Small Business Saturday 3rd December!

We are delighted that lots of local businesses have already joined up to Small Business Saturday.

Nelly McNally hairdressers, Legend, SAVS, Costas Courture Cakes, Scape Interiors, Groovy Baby, Uptomen, Curvature Boutique, Margaret Raymond Florist, Eliza's Boutique, Quinns of Thorpe Bay & many more!

If you are a local business, celebrate Small Business Saturday by entering our #BestFestiveBiz competition. All you need to do is decorate your business fit for Christmas and send in the picture to or tweet it to @businessonsea.

We will promote your business on our social media platforms and website.

Thursday 10th November

Chelmsford City Showcase for Business -16/11/16 8.30 am - 4.30 pm

Hylands House and Grand Pavilion, Hylands Park, London Road, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ 

Chelmsford City for Now in its eighth year Taking place on Wednesday 16th November 2016.

The 2016 Chelmsford City Showcase for Business has another great line up of speakers and exhibitors.

At 8.30am the Mayor of Chelmsford will officially open the exhibition and announce the rest of the day’s programme. There will be 56 trade stands to visit throughout the day until the close at 4.30pm.

A key feature of the day will be three one hour long Masterclasses with an opportunity to raise your questions to our experts, starting at 9.00am, 11.00am and 2.00pm. These will cover everything from start-up to more mature businesses looking to innovate and grow.

The Essex Federation of Small Businesses is sponsoring the lunchtime session with a key note speaker followed by a networking lunch.
Numbers are limited and pre-registration is essential. When registering for the Showcase you will be able to book for this.

There will be a Happy Hour from 3.30 – 4.30pm – a chance to join the organisers for refreshments and more!

Click here to book your place 

Wednesday 9th November 

ABS- Learning of Mum and Dad- Wed 16 November 2016
10:00 – 12:00, The Forum Southend Elmer Avenue 

FREE session to help young Parents or Prospective parents become more employable!

The session will cover topics such as using Social Media, presenting yourself in a professional and modern way online and in person, and identifying the skills that you have. The teacher is a very friendly manager from the University of Essex. You will have an opportunity to talk about yourself, and discuss ways to make yourself unique, and clearly identifiable, in the modern world.

Free childcare will be provided, but you must provide us with details on the form in advance. If you have not booked and confirmed ages and number of children in advance, then we cannot provide childcare.

Please make your own way to the session. If this is a real difficulty, then please contact us on

Book your place here


Tuesday 8th November

BEST Essex Business Show - 18 Janurary 2017, 10am - 3pm, The Hylands House, London Road, Chelmsford, Essex, CM2 8WQ

Organised by the BEST Growth Hub, the BEST Essex Business Show 2017 is the only free local event that brings together all publicly funded business support for small and medium sized businesses in Essex.

Whether you are a well-established business looking to grow, or your business plans are in the early stages at the moment, or even just an idea, there is something for every entrepreneur or budding entrepreneur.

Exhibitors will offer opportunities, information and advice to visitors. There will also be plenty of opportunities to network with other like-minded businesses.

Come and find out about all of the business support on offer to you under one roof – you can’t afford to miss out!

Click here to book your place 

Monday 7th November

BEST Growth Hub Pop up Cafes 

The Best Growth Hub hosts a series of events and workshops to help local businesses. One of which is the pop up cafes they are organising throughout Essex. These events are a fantastic chance to get professional marketing, legal and financial advice and more. During the Pop up Cafes here is also the opportunity to network with plenty of free tea and coffee and cake.
The next event is at Hadleigh Park, Chapel Lane, Hadleigh, Essex SS7 2PP- 23rd November 2016 10:30 – 1pm.

To book on please click here

Friday 4th November

Small Business Saturday National Bus to come to Southend!

Small Business Saturday UK bus tour is taking to the road again, visiting 29 stops in five weeks including Church Hill in Leigh on 16th November 10:30 - 2:00pm.

The A-B bus tour will begin on Monday 24th October in Aberdeen and will conclude in Bournemouth on Friday 25th November. The bus will play host to numerous activities, workshops and small businesses exhibiting. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch marking your email subject line with your preferred tour location(s).

To contact the Bus Tour organisers please email 

or email the economic development team on

Thursday 3rd November

Launch of £40 Million Active Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF)
The Small Business Minister has announced this new Enterprise Capital Fund, supported with £26 million from the Government-backed British Business Bank. Enterprise Capital Funds combine private and public money to make equity investments in high growth businesses.

The Active Enterprise Capital Fund (ECF) programme has a total budget of £40 million, specifically intended to help rapid growth business scale-up. Active Private Equity, which specialises in helping consumer-focused businesses grow their brands and build the infrastructure needed to scale up successfully, will run the fund.

Active will partner with UK entrepreneurs at any stage in the lifecycle of their business provided there is exciting potential for growth. Typically, it focuses on growth stage businesses that are facing the critical transition from adolescence to maturity.

The scheme can invest as little as £500,000 or as much as £15 million over the life of an investment. The funder always seeks to take at least a significant minority share to ensure it is in a position to actively contribute to an accelerated growth trajectory.

The funder helps accelerate growth in promising young companies. It provides flexible capital which enables these businesses to quickly build upon their initial success and develop into widely recognised brands.

Active focuses exclusively on founder-led businesses in the UK consumer economy, looking to scale rapidly. Active partners with innovative entrepreneurs in the consumer, leisure and retail spaces.

Businesses looking for equity investment should note that this programme is about helping to establish funds.

Support can be accessed at any time.

For more information click here

Wednesday 2nd November

Launch of Rebranded Green Innovation and Finance Awards

The Green Innovation & Finance Awards, previously known as the New Energy & Cleantech Awards, recognise and celebrate the achievements of entrepreneurs, investors and advisers committed to the growth of clean energy and the green economy of the UK.

The rebranded awards will continue the New Energy & Cleantech Awards’ legacy of identifying the people and businesses building an energy efficient future, while also recognising those who ensure that such innovation generates genuine economic value in the long term.

The Awards target those who play a pivotal role in the process and shaping of the future renewable energy, energy storage and cleantech industries.

The following categories are open to entries in 2017:

Innovator of the Year
Fast Growth Company of the Year
Entrepreneur of the Year
University of the Year
Corporate Finance Deal of the Year
Large Project Financier of the Year
Advisor of the Year
Impact Investment of the Year
Large Project Financier of the Year
Circular Economy Champion of the Year
Green Economy Project of the Year
Business Leader of the Year
UK businesses operating within the renewable energy, energy storage and cleantech industries may enter.

The deadline for entering the 2017 awards is 28 November 2016. Click on the following linke for more information on the awards. 

Tuesday 1st November

Building Resilient Communities Event- Mercury Theatre, Colchester 11/11/16 9am-4pm 

Businesses – This is a one off free to attend event. Come along for the whole day or just for the afternoon Business Workshop, and find out how to make significant financial savings and how to access funding to start working more efficiently! Save £££’s on fuel by going electric! Be prepared for the challenges ahead in connection to climate change – don’t be beaten by floods, overheating, or extreme weather conditions…be a smart business and get your emergency plan in place now!

Access to experts, free advice and tools will help you become a more resilient business…and this event is FREE to attend!

What’s stopping you? Register today at and follow the online ‘Booking Form’ link.

On Friday 11 November Colchester Borough Council is hosting a free sustainability event called Building Resilient Communities at the Mercury Theatre in Colchester, Essex.

The Council is one of the country’s leading authorities when it comes to environmental issues. At July’s Essex Business Awards they took home the prize for Environmental Awareness for their Environmental Sustainability Strategy and affiliated projects and this event is a core part of that work.

The day will be split into two, with the MORNING SEMINAR featuring national and local key note speakers from the Carbon Trust, Environment Agency, BRE Centre for Resilience, Mersea Harbour Project Trust, the Soil Association and Sustrans. These morning presentations will take a look at the national, regional and local changing world around us, and what the risks and opportunities are for us all when it comes to being prepared for climate change.

The afternoon will be dedicated to sector specific workshops in EDUCATION, HOUSING, BUSINESS, COMMUNITIES & COUNCILS, it’s up to you which one you would like to attend, all will be looking at a diverse range of topics and offering advice pertinent to each group.

The event is open to anyone interested in contributing towards building resilience to climate change within their community. It may just be an idea of a project you have at the moment, but our communities workshop could help you turn that into a reality by listening to how other groups set up, got funded and found the expert help they needed.

Amongst the people attending we expect that delegates will come from other Local Authorities, Schools and Colleges, Businesses, Charities, Community and Volunteer led groups, Housing providers, Organisations involved in development and planning, and Councillors and Clerks from Town and Parish Councils.

Guest speakers for the workshops include specialists from different sectors….here are just a few…

• Eco-schools will share the steps involved in embedding environmental topics into the schools curricula.
• Carbon Trust and Southend Council will provide visiting Councils with information on increasing energy efficiency.
• Sustrans and the Soil Association can offer details on adoptable programmes to create healthy sustainable places.
• The Carbon Trusts funding team will share green funding opportunities with businesses wanting to work more sustainably.
• Glynn Hopkin will be dispelling the myths about electric vehicles.
• The BRE will explain the new Housing Quality Mark (HQM) which is expected to transform the way people buy and build property.
• Colchester Borough Homes will share their retro-fit approach to improving housing.
• The Princes Foundation will explain the principals of planning and building sustainable communities.
• Colchester Borough Councils own experts on health, housing and sustainable transport will also link across all workshops.

A special prize draw will take place at the end of the day for an opportunity to win tickets to the mercury theatre, or a week in an electric vehicle, courtesy of Glynn Hopkin.

Go to and click on the ‘Booking Form’ Link