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Home > Business > Economic Development > Support and Advice for Businesses

Support and Advice for Businesses

Are you thinking of starting up a new business venture?

Are you an existing company looking to grow or explore new opportunities?

Download our 'Open for Business' information pack

Read additional information from the government

Information from the government contains help and advice that covers topics such as VAT & Tax Returns, employing staff and international trade.


New Anglia Growth Hub

The New Anglia Growth Hub is a free one-stop shop for help on subjects including finance, exporting, resource efficiency and contract opportunities.

View the New Anglia Growth Hub website


HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)

The HMRC website offers a number of digital platforms through which they provide business support.

Access a free eLearning tool providing advice on Becoming an Employer

The tool covers various subjects including:

  • Starting in business
  • Registering your self employment
  • What records should I keep?
  • What can I claim against my income?
  • VAT registration
  • Becoming an employer

The HMRC also run a variety of webinars to help businesses get things right from the start. Each lasts around an hour. Attendees can choose between a pre-recorded webinar (available at any time), or a live, interactive webinar.


Enterprise Agencies

MENTA is based in Bury St Edmunds.

MENTA provides business services and advice for established businesses and start-ups in Suffolk and Norfolk.

They can help with:

  • affordable business skills training
  • confidential and impartial business advice
  • mentoring
  • coaching
  • office spaces
  • networking opportunities


Other sources of help and advice

Invest in Suffolk contains a wealth of information for businesses that are either looking to move into or grow within Suffolk.

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce is the county's largest independent private sector forum. It can support your business throughout its lifecycle - from starting up to development, growth and beyond.



Open for Business

What support can Babergh and Mid Suffolk Councils offer to business?

Growing, expanding or relocating business

Our officers can share knowledge of employment site locations/allocations, units or premises including those which may offer particular benefits. These could include: 

  • business rates discounts
  • superfast broadband
  • energy efficiency
  • simplified planning

We are developing business friendly policies, as well as our understanding of the business community, so that we can better help you.

We may also be able to pass on our awareness of future activity or changes that could present business opportunities to you.

Funding, capital or revenue stream difficulties?

Our officers have extensive knowledge of loan, grants, investment and other financial support mechanisms. All of these can aid you at key stages of your business.

Difficulty in understanding rules and regulations about your business sector?

Good regulatory practice can assist your business reputation, as well as your productivity. Our multi-skilled professionals offer a range of compliance support to your business. This helps you to better understand your responsibilities and focus on your business. Where we can’t directly assist, we can often add some value by directing you towards people who can.

Nobody at the Council understands your full business enquiry?

Our ‘Open for Business’ priorities mean that we are keener than ever to provide you with open feedback channels. We aim to be a single point of contact for your business, who can understand your whole enquiry and effectively offer support. As a result you will hopefully gain more tailored services and increased customer satisfaction.

Need information and access to services outside of 9-5?

We live in a fast-paced technological environment. We aim to improve business access to reliable, sectoral, digital information and transactional 24/7 self-help services. Access on the move and a time to suit you and your business need.

If you have a complex enquiry then you can still speak to a real person, whether they are office-based or attending a local business networking event.

Finding and recruiting the right skills for your business?

We are involved with schemes and initiatives to help bridge the gap between local employers and local talent.

Businesses, schools, adult skills and further education networking and engagement is vital to increasing understanding of business need. It develops our existing and future workforce.

Initiatives such as MyGo, ICANBEA and Navigator Schools Project can all help to support local business need.

Sharing our network?

We want to build a relationship with your business, based on open two-way conversations. We care about what you think and the success of all responsible businesses in our districts, whether a small home business or large multi-national.

Your local Council has a breadth of signposting expertise and can put you in touch with business support, new opportunities, supply chains and others. Your local councillor is also a key community contact for your business.

In terms of supplying the Council, we actively encourage all suppliers to tender for our requirements. We strive to ensure that our procurement processes do not unreasonably prevent any type or size of supplier from bidding for our contracts.

What you need to know about Regulatory Services

If you are starting or developing your business in Babergh or Mid Suffolk, we want to do all we can to help you. Whether you are just thinking of starting a business or have already taken the steps to get your business up and running, getting compliance right first time aids success for your business and protection for your customers. The link below takes you to an information pack with all the information you will need to ensure you are compliant with the law.

Download our 'Open for Business' information pack