At Chichester District Council we recognise that the wealth of the community is generated by it's successful businesses. The authority works in close partnership with other business support agencies throughout the county, offering support and information on the range of issues that affect businesses.

Free downloadable signage

We have designed a range of 'Stay Safe, Leave a Space' social distancing signage for the district, and are sharing our designs with businesses and community groups who would like to use it.

Rural Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme


£4000 is available for rural SME's upgrading their broadband.

West Sussex County Council has recently relaunched their Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme .  Now rural eligible premises can claim up to £4,000 each towards the installation cost of gigabit-capable broadband, when part of a group of premises.

Find out if your premises is eligible by checking your postcode on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport  website.

If you have any questions please email

Coronavirus - Support for Businesses

Business Support Finder

Coronavirus (COVID-19) support is available to employers and the self-employed. You may be eligible for loans, tax relief and cash grants. Use the Government  business support finder to see what support is available for you and your business.

Please note the Government maybe announcing further changes. To be certain of the latest information we recommend checking the  Government business support  page.

Support from Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Growth Hub Team

The LEP has launched 'SME Emergency Response Clinics' .

The Growth Hub has brought together its team of Growth Champions to help businesses to develop business resilience and answer any questions you may have.

They will be running free one hour bookable sessions for 1-2-1 conversations with one of their selected group of business experts. The sessions will be running online from 8.00am to 8.00pm and therefore there will be up to 10 available appointments each day. Each day will have a theme and they hope to address topics of most relevance to the challenges being faced by businesses in the Coast to Capital area. The themes cover finance, funding, technology, innovation and resilience.

The sessions will be confidential and can be offered as either video or audio calls to suit you.


Planning advice for pubs, cafes and restaurants

New permitted development rights

The Government has introduced new permitted development rights for pubs (Use Class A4) and cafés & restaurants (Use Class A3) to operate solely for any use for the provision of hot or cold food that has been prepared for consumers for collection or delivery to be consumed, reheated or cooked by consumers off the premises (Use Class A5). This right to change the use of premises is time limited for 12 months and expires on 23 March 2021.

You will need to notify the council of this change of use. Please e-mail, and provide:

  • the address
  • business name
  • previous use and contact details. 

You will receive an acknowledgement from the council.

The use of the premises prior to the change of use to food takeaway will be reinstated after the use as a food takeaway has ceased. For further information visit our planning applications webpage.

Register your establishment for the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme

HMRC has published guidance providing more information about the Eat Out to Help Scheme .
The guidance covers:

  • Registration
  • Businesses that are eligible
  • Sales that are eligible
  • Eligibility for 'on-premises' consumption
  • Specific examples
  • Offering the discount

Eligible businesses can register for the scheme from 13 July 2020. Registration will close on 31 August 2020.

You can find out which restaurants are already registered on this scheme by following this Find a restaurant  link on the website.


Outside seating areas

Planning permission would be required if you wish to permanently change an area of highway to a seating area. However it may be possible to provide a small area of seating on a temporary basis without the need for a planning application. To discuss any proposals for outside seating areas please email our planning team:

You will also need to liaise with West Sussex County Council obtain a tables and chairs licence  for use on the highway. Please note that it is essential that social distancing is made possible at all times for customers and people passing-by and this may limit the size of seating areas that are acceptable.

Coronavirus - reopening and working safely


Helping local retail businesses to re-open

The Prime Minister has announced the timeline for retail to reopen  in June. Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be able to reopen from 1 June, as soon as they are able to meet the COVID-19 secure guidelines to protect shoppers and workers.

All other non-essential retail including shops selling clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, books, and electronics, plus tailors, auction houses, photography studios, and indoor markets, will be expected to be able to reopen from 15 June if the government's five tests are met and they follow the COVID-19 secure guidelines. The government has published further  guidance for people who work in or run shops and branches .

Businesses will only be able to open from these dates once they have completed a risk assessment, in consultation with trade union representatives or workers, and are confident they are managing the risks. They must have taken the necessary steps to become COVID-19 secure in line with the current Health and Safety legislation.

The government is taking action to help businesses re-open and protect their staff and customers, including:

  • working with local authorities to continue to carry out spot checks and follow up on concerns by members of the public
  • publishing updated COVID-secure guidelines for people who work in or run shops, branches, and stores.

Working safely during Coronavirus

The Government has produced guidance on working safely during coronavirus  for employers, employees and self-employed.These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work.

Compliance poster for businesses

Once you have completed your risk assessment, please make sure you display this poster to show that that you have followed the government's guidance.

Working with you

As a council, we are continuing to respond and adapt to the coronavirus crisis as we move towards the recovery stage. We are currently working with local businesses and our partners to look at how social distancing measures will be managed in our city and towns.

We have already carried out an assessment of our key retail areas and what measures may need to be implemented, including additional signage. This urgent work is a key priority and also involves talking with local businesses to get an idea of which ones are planning to open. Further information on this will be released shortly.

Working safely free webinars

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has launched a number of  free working safely during coronavirus webinars that you can sign to make sure that your business is ready to reopen.

Video for retailers

The government has also produced  a short video on how retail can ensure it is COVID safe .

Here to help

We have a number of teams that are supporting businesses to reopen.

  • The Economic Development team is here to offer general business support to any business, and can be contacted at
  • The Health Protection team is here to provide advice and support to businesses in terms of ensuring compliance with the business closure regulations, social distancing, food hygiene and health and safety. Health Protection can be contacted at
  • The Licensing Team is able to help you with a variety of functions including matters relating to alcohol and entertainment licensed premises, taxi and private hire licensing, events and outdoors markets (including the council's Farmers' Market). Licensing can be contacted at


New and existing businesses


Chichester District Council's business contact programme

We have a dedicated team with a variety of specialist skills that can assist your business on its road to success. We are closely linked with support organisations that offer further training and advice, therefore we are ideally placed to offer networking and identify new business opportunities.


We can offer support and advice on:

  • Access to business grants;
  • Planning applications and enquiries;
  • The key issues impacting on your business;
  • Relocating to the district;
  • The availability of business premises within the area

There are a variety of local and regional business support organisations that offer a wide range of different services to local businesses.

Starting up a business

The support and advice we offer includes:

  • Access to business grants
  • Relocating to the district; and,
  • The availability of business premises within the area - Setting up  has extensive advise for new businesses, please visit their website for more information.

Sign up to our eBiz newsletter

For uptodate news on business advice, grants and events, please signup to our free eBiz newsletter .


Business Welcome Pack

We know how difficult it can be when setting up a new business or relocating to a new area. This booklet has been put together as a guide to Chichester district based businesses, on the local support agencies available to them and the services provided here at Chichester District Council. The Business Welcome Pack provides information and links to relevant sources you might need when setting up a new business or when relocating an established business to the area.



Pop Up Shop Initiative


The deadline for the first application process has now closed. There will be an opportunity to apply at a later date. If you wish to express your interest please email:

Pop Up Shop Initiative
United Kingdom

Initiative details below for your reference:

Chichester District Council is calling for local entrepreneurs to take part in an exciting Pop Up Shop Initiative, to help support small and start-up businesses in the district.

The scheme, which makes use of vacant properties owned by the council, provides affordable temporary premises. This means that smaller enterprises and start-up businesses will have the opportunity to trial business concepts and trade in a high street location without the commitment or cost of a longer-term lease.

Two properties on Crane Street in Chichester City Centre are the first to become available as part of this initiative.



Food safety in the workplace


When buildings reopen after lockdown, it is essential that water systems are not put back into use without considering the risks of Legionnaires' disease. Please see our Coronavirus food safety guidance page for further information.

Food safety

You can also find guidance about re-opening your business  on the Food Standards Agency website.

Risk assessments

The HSE have put together some guidance to help employers and those that are self-employed and work with or near other people. The guidance covers latest information and advice on coronavirus and managing risks  and risk assessments at work. 

Green business support

Chichester District Council works closely with the Sustainable Business Partnership CIC, a not-for-profit company that offers a range of free and subsidised services to help businesses save money through resource efficiency.

Services include:

  • Free environmental helpline - covering topics such as renewable energy, local recycling services, grants and funding schemes
  • Sustainable Business Network - learning and networking breakfast events, online directory, monthly email update with sustainability news and local case studies
  • Training courses and site visits - for all organisations looking to improve energy, waste and water efficiency and reduce costs
  • Specialist seminars - for those working in the environmental sector to explore new business opportunities

For more information, as well as local best practice case studies, please visit the Sustainable Business Partnership website. You can also contact them directly.

Green Growth Platform

The University's Green Growth Platform is an award-winning green business-innovation network on a mission to help create robust, future-proof businesses that minimise their impact on the planet.

For more information please visit the Green growth Platform website.


Networking and events

The Chichester District boasts a variety of events and opportunities to meet and network with other businesses. The district council also works in partnership with local organisations to provide a rich variety of events, opportunities and discussion forums for the development of local people and businesses.


The UK has left the EU

The UK has left the EU  find out what this means for you and read about the transition period.

The British Chambers of Commerce  have developed a Post-Transition Brexit checklist for businesses.

There is also guidance on what to do if there is a no-deal scenario.

Find out what grants you can apply for to get funding for training and IT improvements if your business completes customs declarations.

Cyber security

If you're a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) then there's around a 1 in 2 chance that you'll experience a cyber security breach.

Falling victim to cyber crime can be devastating for your business, and when you consider that SMEs make up 99.9% of Britain's 5.5 million private sector businesses, it represents a real threat to the whole of the UK economy.

The National Cyber Security Centre  has produced a Small Business Guide to improve cyber security within your organisation - quickly, easily and at low cost.

Following the five quick and easy steps outlined in the guide could save time, money and even your business' reputation. This guide can't guarantee protection from all types of cyber attack, but the 5 steps outlined  can significantly reduce the chances of your business becoming a victim of cyber crime.

Coast to Capital growth hub

The  Coast to Capital Growth Hub  supports businesses in the area to achieve their growth ambitions through the provision of direct support and signposting services, completely free at point of use.

Since its launch the Coast to Capital Growth Hub has supported thousands of businesses.

The support includes:

  • dedicated Account Managers who will assess the needs of your business and introduce you to local, regional and national support initiatives to help you grow.

  • access to free diagnostic business reviews, resulting in impact-driven hands-on support to overcome organisational barriers.

  • providing a bespoke website full of relevant resources, events and opportunities for your business.

For more information on the the Service, visit the Growth Hub website.

Chichester district business directory

It's Local Chichester is the official internet business directory for Chichester containing hundreds of local organisations based in the Chichester district.

We are proud to be part of launching this exciting new service for businesses in the Chichester District, connecting local businesses with local customers and keeping trade inside the local economy. It is free of charge to register your business or to view the online business directory. For more information please visit the website.




Developer & partner charter



The developer and partner charter is an informal voluntary agreement between Chichester District Council, developers, skills and training providers, and, where relevant, local businesses, to secure opportunities for local residents and local businesses arising from developments and associated business activities within the district.

Businesses are increasingly judged on the values they demonstrate. Adopting this charter is a public demonstration of those values. It shows a willingness to engage with the local community, support the local economy and it is not intended to be onerous or force partners to adhere to unachievable goals.

For more information about the charter, please see the relevant document.