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Budget news and COVID-19 support

On March 11 2020, government announced their tax and spending plans for 2020/21 with the addition of a series of temporary rate reliefs and support for businesses in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Additional measures were announced on 17 March 2020.

The new support measures that have been announced are:

  • businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors (including pubs) with a rateable value below £51,000 will receive 100% rate relief for 2020/21 and will have access to a cash grant of up to £25,000 per business
  • pubs with a rateable value of more than £51,000 and up to £100,000 will see their rate relief rise from £1,000 to £5,000 for 2020/21
  • businesses who receive small business rates relief will be eligible to apply for a £10,000 grant in 2020/21 on top of their existing relief

Follow the GOV.UK advice about COVID-19 support for businesses.

What it means for your business rates bill

We have put together some Frequently Asked Questions for businesses and these will be updated as and when we receive further information from the government.

I've already received my annual business rates bill, what do I need to do?

The annual business rates bills were already generated before these announcements were made and so there will be revised bills issued in certain cases.

These new measures mean that some business rates bills already sent to businesses for the coming year will need to be corrected and reissued.

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My business has a rateable value of under £51,000 and I already receive retail discount. Will I need to apply for the new 100% rate relief?

No, if your existing bill for the coming year shows 50% retail discount then you do not need to take any action. Your bill will automatically be updated to show the 100% rate relief and will be reissued as soon as we are able.

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My business has a rateable value of under £51,000 and is classified as retail, leisure or in the hospitality sector (including pubs). Will I need to apply for the new 100% rate relief?

No, the council will try to automatically identify your business as an eligible business for the enhanced relief and reissue your business rates bill as soon as we are able to.

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I pay business rates for a pub with a rateable value of over £51,000 but less than £100,000. Will the new rate relief of £5,000 be automatically applied?

Yes, the council will identify your business as an eligible business for the enhanced relief and reissue your business rates bill in the coming weeks. This information is changing on a daily basis.

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I don’t receive small business rates relief, is this automatically applied if I am eligible?

If you have not previously received it, you must apply for small business rates relief. To be eligible you must have a rateable value of less than £15,000 and occupy one property (in some cases businesses can occupy more than one).

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I receive small business rates relief, how do I apply for the additional £10,000 grant?

Information and administration processes on these new grants are not yet available but you will be contacted as soon as these details are released. We will update the website once we have more information.

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My business is not eligible for any of the new enhanced rate reliefs, will my business rates bill be reissued anyway?

No, your bill will remain the same and you must pay in the timeline already set out in your existing 2020/21 business rates bill.

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State aid information

It is likely that the reliefs will constitute state aid. If receipt of the reliefs would mean that your business has benefited by more than the permitted amount then you will need to advise the council so that relief can be removed.

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