The council fears this perception is deterring business from investing in the county, and is drawing up proposals for its public service agreement bid aimed at revamping its image.
Leader Lord Hanningfield (Con) said the county had enviable brand recognition: 'Wherever I go in the world I sit at the table and everybody's got an Essex connection, a family member, a friend or they went to school there.
'We just don't get ourselves across well. We want to make sure that instead of the white stilettos and sports car image the public sees we're entrepreneurial.
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'People used to rely on London for a night out, but now we have theatres, restaurants and cinemas.'