Small business rates relief

Grants for businesses

Stroud District Council is administering a number of Government schemes of grants and business rate relief to help businesses through the Coronavirus pandemic. This page is regularly updated so please check back, and follow our social media channels for updates.

We are in the final stages of this programme with the government announcing closure of the grant scheme on Friday 28th August. The vast majority of eligible businesses have now claimed grants although if you think that you are eligible, but have not yet been in touch with us about this, please do so as soon as possible emailing us at business.rates@stroud.gov.uk , with your bank details.

  Business Grant Schemes Closure Frequently Asked Questions

Business Support Grant Scheme

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

We have started to make the payments without the need for an application. As of Wednesday 8 April we have paid £10million in grant payments with payment runs being made every working day.

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.

We’ve have received thousands of emails and calls over the past week and are working through them all, but it will take time – please bear with us.

If you are concerned that you cannot make the rent payment for your business premises please see the link above for advice from the Government.

Further information

Extra protection for businesses who rent premises

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.

Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus will be protected from eviction - view www.gov.uk for details.

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 Relief 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 have identified the businesses that qualify for the nursery discount and amended bills showing the 100% discount have now been issued.

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.

 

From the 1st April 2017, ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £50,999 (and who are not entitled to other mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates) will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier.

In addition, generally, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value which does not exceed £15,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100%. For a property with a rateable value of not more than £12,000, the ratepayer will receive a 100% reduction in their rates bill.

Generally, this percentage reduction (relief) is only available to ratepayers who occupy either-

(a) one property, or

(b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,899, (relief will only be applied to the main property)

The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b), must not exceed £19,999 on each day for which relief is being sought. If the rateable value, or aggregate rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.

The Government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

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