A BUSINESS meeting was attended by dozens of firms operating in Maldon to learn about how a new council business program can help them.

The breakfast meeting was organised by Backing Essex Business and Maldon District Council at the Blue Boar Hotel, in Maldon, to highlight business opportunities and developments in the district.

A total of 90 per cent of businesses within the district fall under the micro-business classification.

The council wants to ensure these businesses thrive and grow to hopefully create more employment opportunities for people in the area.

The meeting was attended by about 30 representatives of local businesses, Maldon MP Sir John Whittingdale, leader of Maldon District Council, Richard Siddall and Robert Laurie, Business Advisory Manager at Backing Essex Business.

Robert Laurie set out to make businesses aware of the help and advice available from Backing Essex Business.

This includes 12 hours of free professional advice on finance, marketing and recruitment as well as loans for business growth and Start-up.

The aim of the new programme is to enhance communication channels between the council and businesses within the district.

Business owners were able to ask questions as well as share their concerns about any issues affecting businesses and residents within the district.

The UK Government has funded the initiative through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Sir John said: “I am delighted that there was such a good turnout for this meeting organised by Backing Essex Business.

“I know that there is still a challenging economic climate for many businesses and am keen that more will take advantage of the help that is out there.”

Mr Siddall added: “I would like to thank all of the businesses who attended the first of what we hope will be many more events like this.

“The success of this business breakfast demonstrates the Council’s commitment to local businesses and the support of Backing Essex Business in the Maldon District.

“It was a pleasure to welcome Sir John Whittingdale OBE MP to the event showing his and the councils support for local businesses and highlighting their importance to the economic prosperity of the Maldon district.

“This is the first of many events that will be scheduled within the district.”