Business news from the budget, UK’s first Electric Forecourt and lots more

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Here you will find all the latest business news, to keep you up to date, from Braintree District Council.


Boutique vineyard goes from strength to strength

We had the pleasure of visiting Toppesfield Vineyard recently. What started as a hobby for Jane and Peter Moore in 2012 has now developed into a fully-fledged business that now produces 10,000 bottles of award winning wine each year.

With 14 acres of land, the couple have created a resilient business that has exceeded all expectations, winning a number of awards including East Anglia’s Wine of the Year for two of their four vintages to date, a gold award from the prestigious 2018 Global Sommelier Wine Awards and silver medals from Decanter World Wine Awards and from the Independent English Wine Awards.

Read more

Whether you have an existing business here in the Braintree District or if you are setting up a new venture, we’re totally committed to helping you on your journey.

If you would like us to help or visit your business contact us on: [email protected] or 01376 552525. 

Photo credit: Rae Shirley Photography.

UK’s first Electric Forecourt is under construction, opening Summer 2020

GRIDSERVE has announced that the first of a nationwide network of more than 100 Electric Forecourts® is now under construction and will open this summer, offering convenient, ultra-fast, low-cost charging.

The Electric Forecourt® near Braintree will be able to charge 24 electric vehicles at once with superchargers that can deliver up to 350kW of charging power, enabling people to charge vehicles within 20-30 minutes initially, and much faster in the future as battery technologies mature.

The network of Electric Forecourts® will be powered by clean, zero carbon solar energy and battery storage projects, also constructed by GRIDSERVE®, ensuring carbon emission targets can be met, while also keeping prices low.

Construction on the first Electric Forecourt® on a 2.5 acre site adjacent to Great Notley, just off the A131, is supported by a £4.86 million grant from Innovate UK.

Read more 

The best thing since sliced bread

We’d like to say welcome to Toast the newest business in Braintree.

The coffee shop, located at 64 High Street, officially opened last month.

Customers can chose from locally fresh baked white, brown, granary, sourdough and gluten free loaves… as well as lots of flavours and varieties of jam, marmalade, chocolate spread, nut butter, curd, savoury spread and sprinkles. 

Please take a trip into Braintree to show your support.

Photo credit: Toast.

If you have news from your business please let us know: [email protected]

Building your business with Skills for Tomorrow

Whether you’re just starting out or ready to scale up, learn the tools and techniques you need to make your business a success.

There are loads of free courses available through BT’s Skills for Tomorrow programme!

Find out more here

Show stopping video for baker!

Local baker Lorraine Hakes who won a competition for a promotional online film to showcase her work is thrilled with the final product!

Braintree District Council’s Economic Development team held the competition throughout December and into January to coincide with Small Business Saturday.

Lorraine was picked at random from more than 45 entries. Lorraine started her business Lozzie Hakes Bakes in 2016 from her home kitchen in Braintree. She creates personalised cakes, cupcakes, biscuits and sweet cones for every occasion.

The film can be viewed on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

News for businesses from the budget

A plan to provide support for businesses affected by Covid-19 was announced yesterday as part of the budget.

Find out more about the measures announced by the Chancellor including additional funding, statutory sick pay changes, and an increase in the business rates retail discount for one year.

Business Rates announcement

We are aware of the changes to business rates announced in the Chancellor’s budget yesterday. The announcement means business rates for firms with a rateable value below £51,000 will be suspended for a year.

We are currently waiting for further information and advice from central government regarding this scheme.

In the Braintree District, business rates bills for 2020/21 are already out for delivery – these were sent before the announcement was made. If your business qualifies for the new scheme we will be issuing a revised bill in due course. There is no need to contact us about your bill.

If you need any other help with your business rates please contact us at: [email protected]

The Budget 2020 speech was delivered by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. Read it in full here.

Tax helpline to support businesses affected by coronavirus

HMRC has a set up a phone helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The helpline allows any business or self-employed individual who is concerned about paying their tax due to coronavirus to get practical help and advice. Up to 2,000 experienced call handlers are available to support businesses and individuals when needed.

If you run a business or are self-employed and are concerned about paying your tax due to coronavirus, you can call HMRC’s helpline for help and advice: 0800 0159 559.

Public information campaign focuses on handwashing

NHS advice: wash your hands regularly throughout the day, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

There’s a lot of fake news out there about coronavirus, so it’s really important to get your information from a trusted source.

Make sure you are reading the official advice and guidance on Coronavirus.

This is a really useful page:

Coronavirus: Guidance for employers and businesses


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