COVID-19: Support for businesses that pay business rates

Support for businesses that pay business rates

We will introduce a business rates retail holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 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.

A £25,000 grant will be provided to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the relevant local authority. Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday will be published by 20 March

Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates

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

If your business is eligible for SBRR or rural rate relief, you will be contacted by your local authority – you do not need to apply.

Funding for the scheme will be provided to local authorities by government in early April. Guidance for local authorities on the scheme will be provided shortly.

GOV.UK Guidance
COVID-19: support for businesses that pay rates

Guidance has been updated – Version 3 published with updates on State Aid, monitoring and reporting requirements, new annexes on state aid, Spotlight, and post payment checks, clarification of eligibility of charities.

In addition Annex E now gives guidance to local authorities in respect of the information that they may need to collect from businesses in order to make payment of the grant. 

GOV.UK Guidance
COVID-19: guidance on business support grant fundin
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Some councils have already begun to request this information or have included a downloadable form on their website to collate this information

This includes the City of York Council and Hambleton District Council

A bit more info from CGA

CGA have been in touch with both Selby District Council and City of York Council on a daily basis to ask various questions in respect of the above, including clarification in respect of qualifying businesses, we are currently working through our database to categorise clients.

Around 700,000 businesses in England currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or Rural Rate Relief can apply for the emergency funding.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy will be writing to local authorities this week to outline the scheme, and encourage local authorities to prepare.

However, once up-and-running, your local authority will contact you rather than having to apply yourself.

And funding will not be available until April, as stated on the government website.

This additional funding for local authorities who collect business rates is part of a package of fiscal measures to help small business survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The coronavirus grant only applies to small business in England. Business rates in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set by their devolved administrations.

Finally, it is definitely worth checking that your business is correctly rated, having discussed the new retail discounts with one particular client, who didn’t think they qualified as being within the retail sector, we were able to advise to contrary and not only will they now benefit from the discounts for 20/21 but they should also receive a refund for the current year – this is worth approx. £26,000

Relevant Links

GOV.UK Guidance COVID-19: Support for businesses that pay rates
GOV.UK Guidance COVID-19: Support for businesses that pay little or no business rates
GOV.UK Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance on business support grant funding

Selby District Council – Business Rates
Selby District Council Expanded Retail Discount
City of York Council – Business Rates
Harrogate District Council – Business Rates
Hambleton District Council – Business Rates
Ryedale District Council – Business Rates