Businesses struggling to survive in the wake of Covid-19 will be eligible for a further £7.2 million grant funding from Essex County Council.

The fund includes a new Additional Business Support Grant for up to 60,000 self-employed people and small and medium-sized businesses who have previously fallen outside the scope of Covid-19 financial support schemes.

This brings the total business grant support made available by ECC to up to £9.4 million.

The new Additional Business Support funding will make up to £5,000 available to Essex businesses which have been excluded from accessing other Covid-19 financial support schemes.

Cllr Tony Ball, Essex County Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has led to rapidly increasing rates of unemployment in Essex and the new grant funding of up to £7.2 million is designed to inject additional support to where it’s needed most, including for those businesses who have previously been unable to access financial support. Every business matters and we want to boost the recovery of the Essex economy."

The county’s city, district and borough councils are already supporting businesses with their applications for the additional £13m discretionary business grants provided by the government at the start of January.

ECC says it will work closely with its partners to "ensure the grant schemes are aligned and together we support as many Essex businesses as possible."