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Business advice & support

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.

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.

Chichester BID website (opens new window)

Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry (opens new window)

Community Empowerment Ltd (opens new window)

Federation of Small Businesses (fsb) (opens new window)

Fernhurst Hub (opens new window) - Businesses and self-employed (opens new window)

Help to Grow : Management Essentials Course (opens new window)

HM Government - Business Support (opens new window)

Innovate UK (opens new window)

Trading Standards (opens new window)

Starting up a business

If you are starting a business in the Chichester District, you can obtain a free PDF Start-Up guide. This contains useful tools, resources and details all the steps to succeed. To receive this please enter your email address here Request a new business start-up guide

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 (opens new window) has extensive advise for new businesses, please visit their website for more information.

Community Empowerment Ltd (opens new window)

Fernhurst Hub (opens new window) - Setting up (opens new window)

HM Revenue & Customs online advice seminars (opens new window)

Prince's Trust (opens new window)

Start-up Loans (opens new window)

Sign up to our eBiz newsletter

For up to date news on business advice, grants and events, please signup to our free eBiz newsletter (opens new window).

If you have any further questions, please email Alternatively, you can phone 01243 534669.


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.

  Business Welcome Pack (PDF) [5MB]


Inward investment and growth

Chichester District Council has developed a strategy and are supporting businesses who want to move into or relocate within the district.

For more information please visit our newly launched Invest Chichester (opens new window) website, and if you would like an introduction to the district, please telephone 01243 534595.


Pop-up shop

Chichester District Council is calling for local entrepreneurs to take part in a 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 city centre location without the commitment or cost of a longer-term lease.

A property on Crane Street in Chichester City Centre is the first to become available as part of this initiative. Visit our commercial property page for further information.

Applications are now open for the Chichester City Centre Pop Up Shop scheme. This has now been changed to an open ended application process. Applications will be processed and assessed on a first come first served basis.

Please read the guidance notes carefully before completing the online application.

Pop Up Shop Guidance Notes (PDF) [2MB]

Pop up shop application form

If you have any questions regarding the application please email:


West Sussex retail hub

As part of the Retail Support Programme and in collaboration with Horsham District Council and 5 other Councils within West Sussex, 10 free online training modules have been pre-recorded for businesses to access at their own convenience. Although the sessions are tailored for independent retailers other businesses will be able to access the modules and benefit from the free information. Businesses will be able to select the topics that best suit their needs.

Each module is presented by a specialist expert on the following key subjects:

  • Measuring sales, tracking profitability
  • Key steps for creating a marketing plan
  • The importance of business planning
  • Employing staff: an introduction to HR for small businesses
  • Using social media for business outcomes
  • Card payments and electronic point of sale
  • Understanding today's customer
  • Creating an exceptional customer experience
  • Developing a quality customer experience for the modern independent retailer; and
  • Developing new business models that work effectively and efficiently.

To find out more about this and to register, please visit the West Sussex Retail Training Hub (opens new window) website.


Support for small businesses on digital technologies

The Recover & Rise: SME Digital Accelerator series has now concluded. However, businesses can still access recordings of all the webinars from across the 4 series (opens new window) and up to 8 hours of free mentoring & support from a Digital Champion (opens new window)

The aim is to help small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) utilise digital tools and gain expert knowledge and advice on how best to grow their online presence, attract and retain new customers and work more productively.

The programme covers:

  • Series 1: Getting Online
  • Series 2: Customers and Marketing
  • Series 3: Systems and Productivity
  • Series 4: Growth Expansion and New Products. 

Grow Digital West Sussex is a series of free, carefully curated workshops (opens new window), facilitated networking and 1-2-1 mentoring that is travelling across West Sussex between September 2023 to April 2024 to support local businesses on all things digital. It will provide opportunities for local businesses to improve their digital capabilities, connect with other businesses and receive 1-2-1 support.

Each day of workshops will cover a number of essential topics. These will develop your digital skills and knowledge, and help your business grow. You can then choose which topics you most want to attend on each day. The core themes of the support are: Make Money, Reduce Costs, Save Time and Be Visible.

Supported by the West Sussex Councils and delivered by Freedom Works, Creative Bloom and Shake It Up Creative, the content of this programme has been carefully designed based on insights from previous West Sussex Councils business support programmes, as well as speaking to a range of local businesses about what support they require in this area.

Sign up now to book your place on one of their free events running up until April 2024.


Green business support

Green business support

See Invest Chichester green business support (opens new window) for information on what net zero means for your business.

Green Growth Platform

The Green Growth Platform (opens new window) is the South East Hub of Clean Growth UK. They work with businesses to support low carbon and environmental business growth, including through the Net Zero 360 programme (opens new window).

A full-service net zero package for SMEs, it supports businesses taking the first steps on the net zero journey.

Low carbon business case studies

A growing number of West Sussex businesses, across sectors, are taking steps to better their environmental performance and improve their operations. They have inspiring and insightful stories that can help inform anyone considering adopting greener business solutions. Watch the YouTube series Low Carbon Business in West Sussex (opens new window) to hear their stories.

SME Climate Hub

The SME Climate Hub (opens new window) has partnered with Oxford University to support small businesses in reducing their carbon emissions and to provide climate solutions to contribute to climate action in society. The tools and resources on the SME Climate Hub website help all SMEs take concrete steps towards climate action across multiple pathways. They're the first step to getting started.

Take a look at the useful information on the website to find out how your business can reduce carbon emissions and gain a competitive edge.


Business Continuity and Cyber security

Business continuity is about identifying, understanding and managing risks to the everyday running of a business or organisation. It helps you to prepare for an emergency or disruption, by planning different ways of working so that you can continue to deliver the key functions of your business during times of unexpected events.

See West Sussex County Council's businesses continuity (opens new window) webpage.

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 (opens new window) 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.


Sussex Six Campaign

Sussex Six is a new campaign encouraging local shops, pubs, restaurants and caf├ęs to stock more locally-sourced produce and shout about it! The campaign is also about enabling local producers to develop their skills in selling to local businesses.

Businesses who join Sussex Six and pledge to take on just six new locally-sourced products, will benefit from:

  • Free publicity as part of a major two-year campaign including features in local media, websites and social media.
  • Building relationships with new, local suppliers.
  • Improving sustainability credentials by reducing food miles.
  • Attracting new customers.
  • Supporting a vibrant food and drink sector in the Chichester District.

Take part in Sussex Six

To join the campaign:

  1.  Submit your Sussex Six pledge online (opens new window)
  2. Producers and suppliers - adopt our Sussex Six branding and be more proactive in selling locally business to business.
  3. Hospitality businesses - commit to taking on six new Sussex products on your shelves or menus.
  4. Feature the Sussex Six logo and window sticker provided, in your business.

Find out more and join Sussex Six (opens new window).


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.

Developer & Partner Charter (PDF) [83KB]

Why sign up to the Developer & Partner Charter? (PDF) [247KB]


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.

Chartered Management Institute (CMI) (opens new window)

Chichester BID website (opens new window)

Chichester Chamber of Commerce and Industry (opens new window)

Petworth Business Association (opens new window)

Federation of Small Businesses (fsb) (opens new window)


Contact us

For further information and advice email Alternatively, you can phone us on 01243 534669.

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