A DECKCHAIR business was among a number of firms which received a support grant to ease the stresses of the pandemic.

More than 650 South East businesses have received assistance under a £2.4 million Covid support program due to end in June.

Meryl Dobson and Gemma Hine own the Maldon Deckchair Company and were given support by the scheme.

The scheme provided businesses with free advice, training resources and a grant of up to £2,000.

The rise in inflation and energy prices has heightened the cost of doing business.

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The Covid-19 Business Support Fund was funded by the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and supported by WSX Enterprise.

Maldon and Burnham Standard:

Ms Dobson said: “Right from the start, our advisor got behind our concept, kept us motivated and showed confidence we could go on and create a lovely business.

“The online training resources have also been brilliant, helping us with everything from sorting out accounts to finding tips on photography.

“We are devoting the grant to improving our website. It’s all about getting awareness out there and making sure people can find us.”