Business Rate Retail Relief discount
Business rates relief
Information about the schemes available to support businesses during COVID-19
2019/20 and 2020/21
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. However, in response to covid-19, in the budget speech on 11 March 2020, the government announced that it would increase the discount to 100% for 2020/21 and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors. The £51,000 RV limit has also been removed 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 and open to visiting members of the public.
Leisure and hospitality businesses will include cinemas, museums, theatres, gyms, hotels and holiday homes, music venues, nightclubs and sports grounds and clubs.
At the budget on 3 March 2021, the Chancellor announced that the Government would extend the 100% rate relief to retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses for a further 3 months to 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022, the relief will reduce to 66% with a cash cap of £2 million for businesses that were required to close as at 5 January 2021 and up to £105,000 for businesses permitted to open at that date.
Businesses should contact the business rates team if they wish to opt out of this support.
The award of this relief for earlier years 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 Government has also introduced a business rates holiday for nurseries in England for 2020/21 and 2021/22. 100% relief will apply up to 30 June 2021, before reducing to 66% relief and will be given to properties that are being used as follows :
- occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register
- wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage
If you think you qualify for this relief and it is not already shown on your bill, please contact the business rate team.
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 (up to 31 March 2020 only)
- 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
- petrol stations
- drinking establishments
- music venues
The leisure and hospitality sector were not included until 01 April 2020, when the rateable value threshold was also removed. This enabled theatres, museums, nightclubs, gyms and premises used for sporting activities to qualify.
No. The government has identified certain retail uses that do not qualify for the original 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 and pawn brokers
- 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.
- Properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public