Supporting Your Small Businesses

It won’t have gone unnoticed by many that there are several retailers closing down or now closed in the our Town. Despite the financial support from the Government, this has not been nearly enough to fight off the decline of our High Street. The Focus team knows of many businesses that have made staff redundant in the process of reducing its overheads.

This week, we’ve attended an ‘Economic Recovery Working Group’ with other Councillors to look at how the District Council can support local businesses. Although there were several solutions put forward, our Councillor, James Newport, advised it would be prudent of the Council to first identify what kind of support businesses need from the Council and if indeed they want the Councils help.

It has been agreed that Cllr Newport’s suggestion of a business survey will be actioned to identify such needs.

The Focus team understands from speaking to many local businesses that for many, any action by the Council will be too late and despite minority group members highlighting the struggling businesses across the district many months ago, the Council had failed to act.

We will publish details of the business survey once we have further details and encourage ANY business owner in our district to take part.

  • What help is available for start up business? Some have lost jobs and may be looking for the opportunity to start a new business. Premises are available but what help is there?

  • I don’t know what will be left of Rayleigh High St. by the end of the pandemic. RIP Peacock, Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, Ponden Mills and TUI. And Feathering Your Nest if closing due to retirement. Even Pizza Express isn’t super secure. Some of these are large units. No idea who would even want to take them on.

    • It’s a shocking state of affairs, coupled with the disastrous closure of the Mill Hall and the Civic Suite. Why doesn’t the District Council just bulldoze the town centre and get it over with now? They offer no tangible support for businesses and have merely been an administrator for the Gov grants for those who have rateable premises. Other self employed thrown to the wolves. The town council has sat on its laurels despite claiming £400,000 per year from the taxpayer and then there’s the ‘chamber of trade’ – what is their purpose? It’s truly a sad state of affairs