The Jan 2022 edition of the Southend Business Partnership newsletter
First of all, a very happy new year to you! I would like to start the year by setting up the dates for Southend Business Partnership briefings throughout 2022. It has been agreed that we will run three briefings at the following dates (please pencil in your diary with event details to be confirmed later):
- Thursday 24 March 2022 (8:30-10am)
- Thursday 7 July 2022 (8:30-10am)
- Thursday 10 November 2022 (8:30-10am)
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council (SBC) cordially invite Southend businesses and voluntary sector organisations to join this online briefing, to hear and discuss the budget with key members of the council prior to it going through the cabinet process for discussion and approval. Full papers are available to read on Council Website.
You will find out more about the budget proposals and what they will mean to your organisation and sector. The council is keen to engage with you all and to create the conditions for business recovery and growth. The briefing will be held on MS Teams. To register please visit Eventbrite.
An annual gala celebration of music and the arts in the City of Southend, this inaugural concert celebrates the legacy of Sir David Amess MP by supporting the work of: Dame Vera Lynn Memorial Statue, Dogs Trust, Endometriosis UK, the Music Man Project and Pros8. The concert will feature many local and national names such as the Music Man and Lee Mead. To book a ticket please visit Southend Theatres website.
Following on from the Government’s announcement of Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grants on 21 December, the Business Rates Teams at the council are waiting for further clarity on how these grants will be administered, before developing an online application form which will be published and promoted once completed. Further information will be provided in due course.
54 businesses entered the 2021 Best Festive Business competition, which received a total of 2,031 votes. The overall quality of entries was outstanding, highlighted by the high number of votes. The Cliff Pub, Hamlet Road, Southend-on- Sea, proved to be the public’s favourite, with The Inn at Belfairs of Eastwood Road North, Leigh-on-Sea, coming second, and Roslin Beach Hotel of Thorpe Esplanade, Thorpe Bay, coming in third. For further details of the competition and sponsorships please visit Business on Sea Website.
The Principal of Southend Adult Community College, Ros Parker, has been presented with an OBE by the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle, which was awarded for services to adult education and the community of Southend.
During the pandemic, Ros worked tirelessly with her dedicated staff to adapt the college to help keep adults and vulnerable young people learning, motivated, cared for and supported. She also repurposed the college’s kitchen to prepare hot meals and packed lunches for thousands of families, those in need and the homeless, working with staff volunteers to prepare, pack and deliver. Huge congratulations!
Southend’s amusement park, Adventure Island, has been named as Best Park 2021 by RideRater. RideRater had plenty of praise for the park for staying open until Christmas Eve and for the park staff’s “enthusiasm, friendliness and great attitude”. Selection for this award is from all over the UK, so many congratulations go to Adventure Island for winning such a coveted accolade!
EnsignBusCo, an Essex bus company has won a ‘gold medal’ for its Southend open top bus 68 service. The open top bus takes visitors around the city of Southend during the summer. The World Cup of British Bus Routes is decided by public vote. Visit Southend Open Top Bus website for further information.
A free support system offering access to employment, training and further education in the Borough, has been launched. Made up by The Connexions Service, National Careers Service, Southend Adult Community College, South Essex College and Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the Southend Careers Service was created to help residents to access opportunities that will enable them to retrain or find new jobs, whilst also earning more general life skills such as writing CVs, cover letters and personal statements and preparing for interviews.
Funded by the ERDF programme, the LoCASE project aims to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the SELEP area with grants and business support packages. It has recently launch specific campaign for those operating in the Care Homes, Nurseries, Catering, and Hair/Beauty sectors. Eligible businesses could benefit from an up to £10,000 non payment grants for/towards projects to improve their carbon reduction, energy saving, safer working environment, as well as the purchase of a used Ultra Low Emissions Vehicles. Enquire now for further information at LoCASE website.
FowardMotion Southend is offering the chance to trial a cargo bike for deliveries at the start of 2022. These bikes are perfect for all businesses that are looking to do deliveries, whether it is dropping food or parcels, a cargo bike will be a great way to carry your business into a more environmentally friendly future! Email ForwardMotion to express your interest, giving a brief overview on how you would use an e-cargo bike and the benefits it would bring your business.
Thames Freeport is now open for business. Anyone setting up a new manufacturing, clean energy or logistics business at the Thames Freeport are now able to access tangible economic benefits, which are available across the three tax sites at Ford Dagenham, the Port of Tilbury and London Gateway’s Logistics Park.
Freeports are special areas within the UK’s borders where different economic regulations apply. These include a range of tax incentives, including business rates relief for five years, enhanced capital allowances, relief from stamp duty and exemption from employer national insurance contributions for new and additional employees. No location can match Thames Freeport for access to rail, road, river and international maritime routes.
easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, has announced that it will once again offer flights from London Southend for this summer to Malaga in Spain and Palma de Majorca in the Balearic Islands, serving customers in the south east with more choice with great value fares.
Flights to Palma are scheduled to take-off from 1 May 2022 up to four times a week on Monday, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Flights to Malaga will launch from 2 May 2022 with departures six times a week. Both routes will operate throughout the summer season. Seats are now on sale at easyJet.com
Essex Chambers of Commerce are offering a £50 discount throughout January, to help support businesses through the many challenges they face in the current business climate. Membership with the Essex Chambers of Commerce offers you the support to progress your business locally, nationally and internationally through our network of contacts along with all of their exclusive benefits, products and services. To take advantage of this offer just use promo code JAN2022 on their online form.
Metal Southend is re-recruiting for the role of Director for the Academy for Live Events Production. The position offers a fantastic opportunity for a motivated and ambitious individual to build a sector leading social enterprise and establish South Essex as the talent pipeline for live events in this country. The application is open until 5pm on 20 January. To find out more details and/or apply please visit Metal website.
As I chair the BEST Growth Hub meetings, I’d like to share some anecdotal business intelligence that may be of interest to you.
- Businesses are experiencing skilled labour shortages in all sectors with some recruitment agencies struggling to cope with demand
- There has been significant increase in businesses looking to invest/expand their premises, seeking finance/grants support
- There has been an increase in request to improve leadership and management skills. Adapting with Digital and Starting Business Successfully programmes from SELEP prove popular in Essex
- Start-up enquiries remain high. DWP will close their New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) on 31 March 2022.
- Rising costs (i.e. fuel, raw material, tax) and post EU transition issues (i.e.EU VAT, supply chain, employment) are hitting the bottom lines and causing cashflow issues.
- There has been an increase in enquires from ‘green’ businesses to improve their marketing and branding so to expand/grow and maximise on the net zero agenda as local authorities are ramping up activities in this area.
I do hope the above information proves helpful to you and please share with others and encourage them to sign up for these newsletters by emailing the firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also get up to date information from us by following us on social media: