COVID-19: Support for businesses / Business Rates

COVID-19: Support for businesses / Business Rates

Business rates were included in the package of measures that the Chancellor set out to support businesses. In summary, there is a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England. There is also small business grant funding of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

There are three specific areas included:-

1. Support for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that pay business rates.

A business rates holiday will be introduced for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for 2020/21 tax year. Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.

Eligibility – You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments (property that can be inherited) that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Accessing the scheme – There is no action required. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

2. Cash grants for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

Linked to business rates is the Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme that provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.

For businesses in these sectors with a rate-able value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000. For businesses in these sectors with a rate-able value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.

Eligibility – You are eligible for the grant if:

  • your business is based in England
  • your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Accessing the scheme – You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants should be directed to the relevant local authority.

3. Support for nursery businesses that pay business rates

The business rates holiday also includes nurseries in England for the 2020/21 tax year.

Eligibility – You are eligible for the business rates holiday if:

  • your business is based in England

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be hereditaments:

  • occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register
  • wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

Accessing the scheme – Again, there is no action for you. This will apply to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.

Further guidance for local authorities is available in the nursery discount guidance.

  • Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

The government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 to eligible businesses to help meet their ongoing business costs.

Eligibility – You are eligible if:

  • your business is based in England
  • you are a small business and already receive SBBR and/or RRR
  • you are a business that occupies property

Accessing the scheme – You do not need to do anything. Your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.

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