Retail Relief

Budget

GFirst LEP - the Local Economic Partnership for Gloucestershire Stroud District Council works closely with GFirst LEP.  GFirst LEP is leading the provision of support for businesses through the Coronavirus Pandemic.  Please view www.gfirstlep.com/news/coronavirus-updates to access up to date news, advice and support that is available for your business.


Expanded Retail Discount


The Government announced in the Budget on 29 October 2018 that it would provide a Business Rates Retail Discount, to apply in the years 2019/20 and 2020/21. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, in the Budget on 11 March the Government announced that it would increase the discount to 100% and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors. Following the announcement on 23 March 2020 of further measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, the Government confirmed that some of the exclusions for this relief have been removed, so that retail, leisure, and hospitality properties that will have had to close as a result of the restriction measures will now be eligible for the relief.


This relief will apply to retail, leisure and hospitality properties in the year 2020/21. There will be no rateable value limit on the relief.


Businesses already awarded the 50% retail discount on their annual bill for 2020/21, an amended bill showing the 100% discount has been issued.



  • We’ve identified businesses under the leisure and hospitality sector that qualify for the extended retail discount. Amended bills showing the 100% discount have been issued.

  • We’ve identified the businesses now included as a result of the discount being expanded to remove the rateable value limit and are currently issuing revised bills.

  • We have stopped directs debits to be collected on 1 April 2020


For further guidance please click the link below:


Expanded Retail Guidance


Grants for Businesses


As it stands there are two schemes:- 


Scheme 1 – Business Support Grants Fund 


The current proposal is that all properties in receipt of rural rate relief or small business rates relief on 11th March, including those in receipt of tapered relief, will be eligible for a grant payment of £10,000.


Scheme 2 – Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund


Businesses in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property.


For eligible businesses occupying properties with rateable values of:



  • £15,000 or less on 11 March 2020 the grant is £10,000

  • £15,001 and £51,000 on 11 March 2020 the grant is £25,000


The guidance continues to change daily for both schemes but indications are we will soon be receiving the grant funding from central government to enable us to distribute to businesses. We are busily preparing to administer this without the need for an application. To do this we may need to contact you direct, so to help with this please email the name and address of your business along with the account reference (if know) and a contact telephone number to Business.rates@stroud.gov.uk


For Further information please click the link below


Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund Scheme Guidance


Nursery Discount


We have now been given guidance regarding a business rates nursery discount.  Please see link below for qualifying criteria.


Nursery Discount Guidance


The relief will apply to properties occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.


We are currently identifying businesses that fall under the scheme and will shortly issue revised bills.


State aid


Whilst the UK left the EU on 31 January 2020, the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the government and the EU provides that during a transition period, state aid rules will continue to apply and be subject to control by the EU Commission as it is currently. The government has notified the EU of its intention to bring forward an immediate change to the UK’s tax treatment of non-domestic property, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, and to seek clearance under Article 107(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Subject to this approval, the Expanded Retail Discount scheme, the Nursery discount scheme will become a notified state aid.

In the autumn budget statement of 2019, the chancellor announced a new 2 year relief scheme to aid the retail sector. Businesses which are eligible will receive a reduction in their business rates charge equivalent to a third of their bill, (after any other reliefs have been applied. State aid limits will apply. From the 1st April 2020 this will be increased to a 50% discount and has been extended to include music venues and cinemas. Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments with a rateable value of less than 51000, that are wholly or mainly used as shops, restaurants, cafes or drinking establishments. State Aid limits will apply
There was an announcement in the budget of the 11th March 2020 that the Retail Relief scheme has been extended from 50% to 100% this means that anybody who qualifies for the scheme will not pay business rates in the financial year 20/21.

For guidance on the operation of the retail discount business rates scheme please view:

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