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Business Rate Retail Relief discount

2019/20 and 2020/21

Business rates relief

Information about the schemes available to support businesses during COVID-19


The Government is increasing the retail discount on business rates to 100% for 12 months which has been expanded so it now includes retail, hospitality and leisure properties, such as museums, theatres, gyms, pubs, shops, music venues, restaurants and hotels.

If your business has received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year we will send a revised bill as soon as possible. There is no action for you to take.


The Government has introduced a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. 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

We will send you a revised bill as soon as possible. There is no action for you to take.

2019 / 2020 and 2020 / 2021

The government announced in the budget on 29 October 2018 that it will provide a business rates retail discount scheme for occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 in each of the years 2019/20 and 2020/21.

The value of the discount will be one third of the bill for 2019/20 and 50% of the bill for 2020/21.

Relief will be awarded to certain occupied retail properties that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments in each of the years. You must be using the property for retail use.
The relief will have effect for 2019/20 and 2020/21 and the aim is to have it applied to the bills that will be issued in March 2019.

The award of this relief must comply with EU law on state aid. There is a form which will be issued which requires you to confirm that you have not received any other state aid that exceeds in total €200,000, including any other retail discount you are being granted for premises other than the one to which the declaration relates, under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013.

Further information on State Aid law.

Complete and return the application form confirming your entitlement but please read the qualification criteria notes carefully before deciding whether you might qualify and whether you can apply. You may need to take advice from your accountants if you are unsure about state aid.

The discretionary retail relief scheme will only run from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2021 and applications must be received no later than six months after the end of the financial year to which any relief is to apply.


To be eligible for this discount, the retail premises must:

  • be occupied (empty premises do not qualify);
  • have a rateable value of less than £51,000;
  • have an occupied rates charge for the year (properties receiving 100% Small Business Rate Relief, for example, do not qualify);
  • be wholly, or mainly, used for retail purposes for visiting members of the public.

Qualifying retail uses include:

  • shops, including post offices;
  • car showrooms;
  • car hire; 
  • opticians; 
  • petrol stations; 
  • restaurants; 
  • cafes, including takeaways and;
  • drinking establishments.
  • music venues
  • cinemas

No. The government has identified certain retail uses that do not qualify for the discount, Your premises will not get a discount if it’s being used for the following:

  • Financial services, such as banks, building societies, cash points: both individual cash points and retail units with only cash points in them, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers.
  • Other services such as estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies.
  • Medical services such as dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors and vets.
  • Professional services such as solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors.
  • Post Office sorting offices.
  • Theatres, museums, nightclubs, gyms and premises used for sporting activities.
  • Properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.

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Last updated: 1 April 2020 | Last reviewed: 1 April 2020