Business support and advice

Harlow Council is keen to ensure that starting local business and existing local businesses can get the right sort of help and advice to grow.

There are a variety of organisations, agencies and tools available, if you would like specific information on the type of support available and which support is best for your needs, please email: providing brief details on your circumstances and the support you may require.

For advice on preparing your business for leaving the EU look at GOV.UK


The following organisations are also sources of help and support:

Anglia Ruskin University - Anglia Ruskin University offers a range of business support services.

BEST for Business SolutionsBest Growth Hub - aims to help your business to identify and realise its 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.

BrightTALK™ - Get powerful business insights from experts with BrightTALK™ videos and webinars

The Business is Great website is an online resource providing support, advice and inspiration for growing your business.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy - brings together responsibilities for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, and climate change. Responsible for:

  • developing and delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy and leading the government’s relationship with business
  • ensuring that the country has secure energy supplies that are reliable, affordable and clean
  • ensuring the UK remains at the leading edge of science, research and innovation
  • tackling climate change

Department for International Trade - responsible for promoting British trade across the world and ensuring the UK takes advantage of the huge opportunities open to us. - The government’s single destination for information on UK trade, investment, tourism and education.

Digital Business Academy - Learn all the skills you need to start, run, or join a digital business. Digital Business Academy has been created by Tech City UK in partnership with leading educational institutions, businesses and organisations, to give you the business skills you need to succeed in a digital world.

Entrepreneur Handbook - ‘Today Entrepreneur Handbook is one of the largest and most trusted media platforms for entrepreneurs in the UK, with one of the most extensive entrepreneurial libraries out there. To this day Entrepreneur Handbook continues to grow and provide the best possible content covering key areas including leadership, finance, marketing, sales, technology, human resources and much more.

Essex Chambers of Commerce - A fully independent body offering a comprehensive and continuously developing range of business services. We play an important role in representing the views and needs of existing businesses at local, regional and national level. Tel: 01206 765 277. New office opened at Harlow College, Tel: 01279 868139 or email:

Essex County Council - Essex County Council logois committed to helping new and supporting existing local businesses. They offer a package of support for local enterprises to making it quicker and easier to supply goods and services to the county council.

  • Essex County Council Procurement
    An Sourcing portal is where opportunities to supply Essex County Council are advertised and the medium through which suppliers can respond electronically
  • Essex Trading Standards
    Responsible for ensuring businesses and consumers understand their legal rights and responsibilities in relation to legislation that falls within its remit.

Essex Young Entrepreneurs Network - EYEN offers business advice, mentoring and signposting

Everywoman - Established in 1999, Everywoman is the expert in the advancement of women in business With a presence in over 100 countries and a successful active network of over 20,000 members, everywoman is recognised globally as the professional organisation that drives the development of women at all levels. Tel: 020 7981 2574

Federation of Small Businesses - (FSB) is the UK's largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. Tel: 01277 365 244.

GOV.UK - Provides information about starting up and running a business in the UK, including help if you're self employed or a sole trader, with a variety of tools and guides that can help business with a wide variety of subjects.

Harlow Council logo

Harlow Council

  • The Regeneration Team can help business to find the support they need by signposting to relevant organisations and can offer a range of business information about Harlow. We also assist businesses to locate and find accommodation in Harlow. Tel: 01279 446487 or email:
  • The Harlow Rapid Response Group (RRG) was set up to provide a co-ordinated support service to Harlow companies and workers facing a redundancy situation and has assisted many companies and their workforces over the last four years.
  • Commercial Property to let. Harlow Council has a range of commercial properties available to let
  • Latton Bush Centre: a range of business units and conference facilities for hire and to let

Harlow Enterprise Hub - located on Edinburgh Way providing the ideal location for your company to flourish. A buzzing and stimulating environment, the Hub is home to 54 individual office units. An on-site Business Advisor is on hand along with training courses and other business events. Inkub8 and Inkub8+ are two incubation packages are designed to help both start up and expanding businesses to project a professional image, improve local presence, and support business through its growth stages. Services include - registered business address, full reception and mail handling service, access to business support/finance, access to networking events and business seminars, telephone answering service, message taking and call forwarding, access to 1-1 meeting rooms, large training rooms and exhibition space, free access to business lounge.

Harlow Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Centre - Linked to the Harlow Enterprise Zone, the Centre offers unique training and support services to the engineering and manufacturing sector.

Harlow Business Centre - offers clients flexible space to rent on flexible terms within a professional and secure business community. It has commercial offices and warehouses providing business workspace for rent or lease and an on-site management team available daily to support your growing business.

Harlow Business Mentors - provides bespoke support to Harlow-based businesses using mentoring to contextualise the array of information available to those embarking on setting up a business. Using a combination of workshop and mentoring techniques they work with you for as long as you need to help you make informed and objective decisions about your company’s development.

Harlow and District Chamber of Commerce - Harlow and District Chamber of Commerce aims to combine business networking with items of interest to local business. A great opportunity to increase awareness of your organisation and find out what's happening in Harlow. Get to know and understand local businesses. Meet business owners and people in all sectors.

HMRC’s e-learning tutorial - a convenient e-learning package from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that will guide you through a range of topics including tax, National Insurance, business records and expenses. You can work through the learning and case studies at your own pace and at a time that suits you.

Greenway Business Centre - a well-established modern business centre offering a range of 60 offices, studios and workshops, providing a broad range of popular business accommodation in a secure landscaped environment. With a resident management team, the centre benefits from state-of-the-art telephone and internet access as well as a range of business support services and meeting rooms.

Innovate UK - fund, support and connect innovative businesses to accelerate sustainable economic growth.

Institute for Manufacturing - IfM Education and Consultancy Services (IfM-ECS) provide a rapid dissemination route for new ideas and approaches developed at the IfM. Industrial practitioners, with many years of senior management experience, engage directly with industry, governments and other agencies via consultancy, executive education and events. Their approach is very different to conventional consultancy, involving working collaboratively to co-develop solutions, often based on IfM research outputs, and focusing on transferring knowledge as well as delivering business results. Tel: 01223 766141 or email:

Invest ESSEX - investment promotion agency and business support provider which guides and supports businesses through every stage of business relocation, expansion or scale-up.

Jobcentre Plus - The range of services Jobcentre Plus offers is designed to give you the flexibility and reliability your business needs when recruiting new staff. This is supported by a great deal of knowledge and local services, all of which is free of charge.

KEEP+ - KEEP+ has £9.3m provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop new products and services in collaboration with universities, research institutes and the best graduate talent. KEEP+ is tailored to support businesses to access the specialist expertise needed to help accelerate innovative ideas to market.

The Law Clinic - Small Business Legal Advice
Do you run a small business with up to 10 employees? Do you have a legal or accounting problem but you are worried about the fees if you go to a solicitor or accountant? The Law Clinic at Citizens Advice Harlow offers free half-hour advice appointments with a range of specialists who can help with issues such as:

  • How do I move from being a sole trader to a limited company or a partnership?
  • Commercial property issues
  • Employment issues
  • Should I register for VAT?

Why not drop in and see if we can help you?
The High, 13-15 East Gate, Harlow CM20 1HP
Open Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm

Living Wage - Harlow Council is encouraging businesses and organisations in the town to pay the voluntary Living Wage to help make Harlow a fairer town in which to live and work. In 2013 Harlow Council become the first Council in Essex to become an accredited Living Wage Employer and is making a call to businesses to follow its lead.

Low Carbon Across the South East (LoCASE) is an EU funded project set up to help businesses tackle and adapt to climate change. They aim to reduce costs by cutting emissions and to promote the opportunities of the low carbon market. The LoCASE project offers match funded grant support. Additionally LoCASE looks to help businesses in the low carbon sector grow. Funds of between £1,000 and £10,000 are offered to assist with the up-grade and installation of, for example LED (light-emanating diode) lighting, more productive assets, up-grades to buildings, or indeed any measure identified by their energy auditors as cost saving. For business in the low carbon industry grants would be offered for new equipment or machinery, research and development processes, marketing processes (for example website development) and finally any consulting fees incurred that advance the business.

Mentorsme - is Britain’s first online gateway for small and medium-sized enterprises looking for mentoring services. The free site offers businesses access to a list of quality-assured business mentoring organisations across Britain and also allows business professionals to offer their services as a business mentor via the mentoring organisations listed.

National Apprenticeship Service - (NAS) has been designed to increase the number of Apprenticeship opportunities and provide a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners. They are simplifying the process of recruiting an apprentice through apprenticeship vacancies, an online web-based matching service.

Open to Export logoOpen to Export - is a community-based business service aimed at helping small and medium sized enterprises start exporting and with their exporting and international trade needs. The website contains extensive exporting resources from government and specialist organisations as well as a popular Q&A section where business owners can ask questions to the wider community and get the answers they need.

Parndon Mill - Parndon Mill provides workspace for artists, craftspeople, designers and architects who have the opportunity to share ideas and use their different skills to collaborate on creative work.

Sage Advice: Guide to basic business accounting – A complete guide to money management and basic business accounting to help you start or grow your small business. So, you need to tackle your business’s finances. Taking control of your finances is critical to keeping your business alive and this handy guide breaks down accounting for business into seven straightforward steps.

Shark Infested Custard and The Games Hub - Shark Infested Custard Ltd is an award-winning games development studio based in the heart of East Anglia. They founded The Games Hub© and have over the past year helped set up more than five companies and seen more than 50 people participate. They run a free, expert driven programme to enable those who have aspirations and a passion to set up their own games company get up and running or enter the industry. Working in partnership with Essex University and supported by Eastern Enterprise Hub, the Knowledge Gateway studio offers space, hardware and mentoring for teams and individuals. The free 40 week programme is based around weekly “expert” sessions. Sessions cover all aspects of game and business development including, games design, graphics, monetization, accountancy, IP ownership, marketing and business planning. All fully supported by highly experienced people from each of their specialist areas.

Shell Livewire - offers a fully interactive website with a huge range of information on starting a business including a social network and discussion forum. They also have funding for young people to start businesses through the Shell Livewire Grand Ideas awards, in addition to the annual ‘Shell Livewire Young Entrepreneur of the Year Competition’.

Start & Grow - An online business resources platform that supports the business journey from pre-start to start-up, and on through stages of growth. Providing bitesize course modules, live forums, stories and blogs, this interactive platform can help you master the essentials of starting and growing your business.

Start up Britain - is a campaign by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and designed to celebrate, inspire and accelerate enterprise in the UK.

Superfast Essex Digital toolkit - information and events on how to boost your business online.

University of Essex - The University of Essex offers a range of services to support businesses.