Reduced Services

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

In line with social distancing advice and to protect residents and staff the Council has taken the decision to close the Council offices to the public until further notice.

Whilst the offices are closed to visitors, you are still able to access services and information from this website 24/7.

Information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to access Council Services during this period can be found on our Coronavirus information page

We ask that all residents #StayHomeSaveLives – see a Message from the Leader of the Council


Message from Mayor of Castle Point Councillor Colin Riley

From July 4th new changes on lockdown come into place. Pubs, bars and restaurants are able to open subject to government guidelines.

We want our residents to enjoy themselves but it is important we all act responsibly.  

  • Stay alert and stay safe to help prevent spreading the virus.
  • Keep a safe distance from others  and continue to wash your hands regularly.

If you do go to the  pub, have fun but be sensible;show respect for others and do not do anything that puts you or other people at risk.

Running Your Business

BEST Growth Hub

The BEST Growth Hub aims to help local businesses in Essex, Southend and Thurrock to identify and realise their potential with free business support for growth. It provides a focal point for businesses that are looking to increase their competitiveness and grow.  It offers a great choice of advice, training, networking and more, all tailored to your needs.  If you’re a business in Essex, Southend or Thurrock with an aspiration to grow and be more profitable – then the BEST Growth Hub want to hear from you!

The Hub offers a fully funded information and signposting service. If you would like to find out more about the support that is currently available to help your business start or grow then book an appointment with a business navigator today. You can chose a date that is convenient with you and the Hub will contact you to arrange a meeting.


The Office of the Small Business Commissioner

The Office of 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 Office of the Small Business Commissioner operates a complaints scheme where we investigate complaints from small businesses (a company with 50 employees or less) who are experiencing payment issues with larger businesses (a company with more than 50 employees) and make non-binding recommendations for the resolution of payment disputes.

Where the Commissioner considers appropriate, we may publish a report about the circumstances of the complaint. This may include identification of the parties involved in the complaint.

There are specific rules in relation to the types of complaint the Commissioner can assist with. These include 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 court process. However, where complaints fall outside the legal scope of the Commissioners complaint 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.

The Office of the Small Business Commissioner can also assist small businesses by checking contracts and providing advice on getting invoices right.

We are independent but appointed by government, impartial and free to use on a non-risk basis.

For more information, please see the below link to our website;


HM Revenue & Customs Business Enterprise E-Learning Tool

HM Revenue and Customs have create a number of free e-learning courses that advise about various tax and National Insurance matters involved in starting and running your own business. Incorporated into the courses are learning checks and videos as well as links to further advice.  The courses can be completed in bite-size pieces and include the following subjects:

The Tax Guide

The Tax Guide covers topics including:

  • Choosing a Structure for your business
  • Telling the HMRC about your self-employment
  • Keeping your Business Records and Claiming Expenses
  • Sending HRMC your tax returns and payments)


Self-Employed Business Expenses

Self-Employed Business Expenses covers topics including:

  • What are allowable business expenses
  • Revenue day-to-day expenses
  • Captial Allowances
  • Simplified Expenses

Becoming an employer?

This tutorial will guide you through everything you need to know to get started. There are useful tips from others who have been where you are now and practical case studies to help you along the way.

Online seminars for businesses and the self-employed:

Choose from a wide range of webinars such as business expenses for the self-employed, operating PAYE in real time, statutory sick pay, VAT awareness and many more.

Click here to access the latest events.

Budgeting for payment of Tax and National Insurance Contributions:

The Ready Reckoner calculator tool is available on HMRC website to provide guidance as to how much money to set aside for Tax/National Insurance. Click here to access the tool.

Related documentation

Business is Great

Providing support, advice and inspiration for growing your business

Find a business mentor

Connecting small businesses with mentoring organisations across the UK, to support and guide development.