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  • Cash
    Article: Apr 20, 2020

    To support the local economy over 1,400 Chelmsford businesses have been sent grants by Chelmsford City Council to support them in the current crisis. More grants are being paid out every day, and the City Council wants to encourage any eligible businesses to apply if they have not done so.

    The grants are for businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, with a rateable value under £51,000. Depending on the size of their business, they can apply for a cash grant of £10,000 or £25,000. Small businesses that pay little or no business rates could benefit from £10,000 to help meet their ongoing costs.

    The Government provided Chelmsford City Council with £31 million to deliver two grant funding schemes to support for local businesses. With over £19 million already awarded, there is still £12 million to be claimed.

    Eligible businesses that have not yet applied for a grant can still apply - at The City Council will also be sending them reminder letters.

    Councillor Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, said: "We hope that these grants have helped businesses during a very stressful time. We recognise the importance of supporting local businesses, and council officers are working tirelessly to process the many applications as quickly as possible.

    "I encourage all eligible businesses that have not yet applied to submit their application via the website without delay so as not to miss out on the funding. We will continue doing all we can to support our local businesses through this crisis."

    The very latest information and guidance for businesses and employers can be found on the Council's website: That includes details of which businesses are eligible and gives a link to the grants application form.

  • Books and DVDs (Mike Pearce | Deep Reality)
    Article: Apr 10, 2020

    The number of people accessing eAudio and eBooks from Essex Libraries has risen during the COVID-19 lockdown.

    Book lovers accessing Essex Libraries eAudio and eBook service Borrowbox have increased by 22 per cent over the last two weeks, with several thousand more residents using the service while they follow Government advice to stay at home to avoid transmission of the virus.

  • COVID-19
    Article: Apr 9, 2020

    Residents are being urged not to put themselves - and others - in danger over Easter Bank Holiday weekend. Leaders from public sector and voluntary organisations in Chelmsford have joined together to make the plea.

    Coronavirus has already killed 7,097 people across the UK. It can be spread through the air when people cough or sneeze. Evidence also suggests that it can live on surfaces for some time, which makes it easier to get infected. So staying home keeps us safe. Each time we leave our homes, we risk transferring the virus to somebody else or bringing it home with us to our loved ones. For many, any illness is mild, but for some it results in hospitalisation and, for a few, even death.

    The law states that people can only leave their homes if they have a reasonable excuse. This can include: to buy essential supplies, for medical needs, for exercise near your home, to help others in need, or to get to work if you can't work from home. Driving long distances to exercise e.g. to beauty spots is not a reasonable excuse, neither is meeting up with anyone you don't live with. Police have powers to enforce these rules.

    Councillor Stephen Robinson, Leader of Chelmsford City Council, said, "This Easter we all have to focus on the fight against the coronavirus. Every time we distance ourselves from others, we are helping to stop the virus spreading. Touching things that others touch, or visiting people you don't live with, could kill. Our normal Bank Holiday activity of going out and seeing friends and family will have to wait.
    "Outdoor exercise is important for mental and physical health, so our fantastic parks remain open. But Chelmsford residents need to continue to use them responsibly, observing social distancing guidelines. When the pandemic is over, we can all be relieved that we did the right thing and stayed at home."

    Assistant Chief Constable Paul Wells, of Essex Police, said: "I'd like to thank the residents of Essex who are sticking to the government guidelines. By staying home, you're not only saving our NHS and protecting the health of other key workers, like our officers, but you're also acting in the best interests of your loved ones and the most vulnerable in our communities. Our officers are continuing their work to protect and serve the people of Essex. Please do us proud by staying in this Bank Holiday."

  • Natacha Dudley
    Article: Apr 9, 2020

    Coronavirus: Chelmsford Council taskforce to coordinate support for vulnerable

    Chelmsford City Council is backing volunteers who want to help the city's vulnerable residents in the current crisis. The Council has set up a taskforce to ensure strong links between council services, the voluntary sector, and the wider community.

  • roadworks
    Article: Apr 8, 2020

    A big thank you has gone out from Essex Highways to residents for the way they have responded to Government restrictions and keeping road journeys to a minimum as the Covid 19 emergency continues. Records show that there are now far fewer cars and people travelling.

    The strong plea from Essex Highways is to 'Please keep it up.'

  • Chelmsford City Council logo (Chelmsford City Council)
    Article: Apr 7, 2020

    Below is an open letter written by the Council's Liberal Democrat Leader Stephen Robinson and its Chief Executive Nick Eveleigh.

    Coronavirus: Letter to Chelmsford businesses

    Dear Chelmsford business,

    We wanted to let you know that Chelmsford City Council is backing Chelmsford businesses and recognises the great challenges you face.

    We appreciate that this is a very difficult period for you and we want to reassure all businesses that we are working closely with our partners, both local and national, to provide advice, guidance and targeted support to ensure that our businesses get the right help at the right time.

    At Chelmsford City Council we are:

    • suspending business rate direct debits so that no payment is taken from businesses that benefit from the 12-month business rates holiday announced by the government
    • applying the 100% discount for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses for 12-months automatically and will write to you shortly with a revised bill.
    • speaking to the Chelmsford Business Board and engaging with Chelmsford businesses and business networks about the support needed and understanding how we can facilitate that support.
    • issuing parking dispensations to park within Chelmsford, to any food delivery service.
    • sending regular communications to our businesses via e-bulletins and ensuring our webpages are up-to-date so that you receive timely business support information and advice.

    We have received further guidance on the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund available for some businesses, announced by the Government. We are working as quickly as possible to set up processes to make these grants available.

    The business advice service, delivered in partnership with Colbea, is now also available online. To book a slot visit

    In addition, the government has announced a number of measures to support local businesses across the country.

    This is what the Government is doing:

    • HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, enabling businesses to continue paying part of their employees' salary for those employees who would otherwise have been laid off.
    • The Government have deferred VAT and Income Tax payments.
    • Statutory Sick Pay will be available from day one, and if your business employs fewer than 250 people, the Statutory Sick Pay will be refunded in full by the government.
    • A new Business Interruption Loan Scheme delivered by the British Business Bank will support small and medium sized business to access bank lending and overdrafts. The scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value.
    • The Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies under the new COVID-19 Corporate Financing Facility.
    • Support for businesses with outstanding tax liabilities can call the HMRC's dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559 and may be eligible to receive support through HMRC's Time To Pay service.

    The situation is constantly changing, with new advice and guidance being issued daily. Please do regularly check this page for the most up-to-date information, guidance and support. Please also share the link with your colleagues, networks and contacts.

    We know that the impact of COVID-19 will be enormous for many of our businesses. We will need to work together to get through this and to ensure our business community is able to recover together. Chelmsford's business community has always stood out for being strong, resilient, and diverse; today these traits are more important than ever.

    We are here to support you as much as we can.

    Please do make contact with our Business Rates Team if we can help in any way ( / 01245 606805).

    With very best wishes,

    Stephen Robinson, Leader of the Council

    Nick Eveleigh, Chief Executive

    Thursday 26 March 2020.

  • Coronavirus food parcel
    Article: Apr 5, 2020

    Volunteers are swinging into united action to help Chelmsford residents in need during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Chelmsford City Council and the Chelmsford Voluntary Service are working together with local people to provide a complete package of support for anyone who is particularly isolated or in difficulty. The organisations are part of Essex Community Shield, the countywide effort to get supplies, advice and aid to those who need it most.

  • Tim during a recent visit to Westmorland General Hospital
    Article: Apr 4, 2020

    The Government has announced it will write off over £13bn of NHS debt and Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron has called for investment in Covid-19 testing and PPE for NHS staff.

    The announcement came after former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, revealed last year through a freedom of information request that £607,404,854 worth of interest on outstanding debt was paid by NHS Trusts to the Department for Health and Social Care in the previous five years.

  • Mike_Mackrory
    Article: Apr 3, 2020

    Chelmsford City Council is enabling local food delivery businesses by providing extra free parking, helping them to provide services to residents during the coronavirus crisis.

    The new measure means that any companies delivering food, whether as an established or new part of their business, can apply online for two dispensations to park within the city. These permits will apply to the company rather than individual vehicles, giving businesses more flexibility for their deliveries.

  • Covid19 icon
    Article: Mar 25, 2020

    These online resources are produced by volunteers and public bodies. Please use them and share them with your friends and neighbours. We will be updating it regularly as more resources become available.