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Business Rates Relief - Is Your Business Affected?

on Wednesday, 25 March 2020.

The Budget of 11 March 2020, and government measures since, have committed to supporting people who are or will be unable to work because of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

These measures have been incorporated into the government's commitment to supporting businesses which form part of our communities and high streets, including increasing and extending its business rates retail discount.

What Is the Business Rates Discount?

Some properties are eligible for discounts from the local council on their business rates. This is called 'business rates relief'.

Who Will the Business Rates Retail Discount Apply to?

The government had already increased and expanded the business rates discounts for retail properties in its 2020 budget. It has since recently updated this, meaning that the business rates holiday has now been expanded and will apply to all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England.

In addition to this:

  • any business currently in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief will be entitled to a small business grant funding of £10,000
  • retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 will receive grant funding of £25,000

Additional Discounts

In the Budget 2020 and to help tackle the recent coronavirus outbreak, the government also announced the below:

  • Local Newspaper Office Space
    Office space used by local newspapers currently benefits from a business rate discount of £1,500. This privilege will subsequently be extended for an additional 5 years until 31 March 2025.
  • Public Lavatories
    From April 2020, the government will bring forward legislation to provide compulsory 100% business rates relief for standalone public lavatories in England.

What Does This Mean for Local Authorities?

Local authorities will be responsible for enquiries on the eligibility or payment of the reliefs. According to the budget, any loss of income of the local authorities occurring as a result of the business rates measures will be fully compensated.

In autumn, the government plans to launch a review of business rates, and will report on them then.

Coronavirus Legal Advice

If your business is affected by the new business rates relief and you need specialist support on how to make the most of the new measures, contact Emma Bradley on 0117 314 5445, or complete the form below.

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