COUNCIL bosses insist they will help businesses wherever they can to ensure they survive the Covid-19 crisis.

Braintree Council says it has received more than 3,000 applications for financial support from traders in desperate need of help after the UK was put into lockdown.

The authority is offering relief of up to £25,000 to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector.

It will also provide a maximum grant of £10,000 to small businesses which pay little or no business rates.

The council says it will aim to dish out the money within the next week.

Any shops or businesses not considered to be essential by the Government have been forced to close to help with social distancing guidelines put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Economic development boss Tom Cunningham said: "We know that the impact of Covid-19 will be enormous for many businesses.

"We know that companies are worried about their income, concerned about how to retain staff and how to make ends meet.

"We want to reassure businesses that we are here to support, guide and advise as much as we can and that we will do everything within our remit to help businesses weather this storm.

"We want firms within our district to know that they are not alone."

The cash grants for the retail, hospitality and leisure industry extends to shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs, cinemas, music venues, leisure centres and hotels.

The top grant is also on offer to estate agents, letting agents, betting shops and bingo halls.

Council bosses have also sought to reassure traders that business rate relief is being applied to all who are eligible.

A spokesman said: "Businesses do not need to take any further action as the relief will be applied automatically and the bills amended accordingly.

"This includes the 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses, estate agents, letting agents, betting shops and bingo halls."

To find out what help is available to your business, email