Business rates and cash grants
Measures that those paying business rates should be aware of regarding the impact of the COVID-19 are highlighted below.
Business rates relief
The Government is introducing a business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020/21 tax year. (Similar schemes will be introduced in Wales and Scotland.)
Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019/20 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be premises that are wholly or mainly being used:
- as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
- for assembly and leisure and
- as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation
Small business grant scheme
The government will also provide additional grant 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.
Retail and hospitality grant scheme
A further cash grant scheme is available to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. Qualifying businesses are eligible for a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. Businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000. For businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.
How to access the schemes?
The governments guidance (published in March-2020 by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy) states that "Central Government will provide funding to Local Authorities that are responsible for business rate billing. Those Local Authorities will contact eligible businesses to arrange payment of the grants."
It was not expected that businesses would need to do anything as the applicable local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant.
What is actually happening?
Early feedback from clients is that the process does require an application to be made. If you have not received anything you should contact your local authority.
Would you like to know more?
Please feel free to get in touch via phone, email or our quick contact form.
We offer initial free consultations simply contact us to find out more.