Updated Relief Scheme March Budget 2020

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.

The chancellor has announced updated information for certain existing relief schemes and an additional measure to assist public houses.

Support for small businesses (SSB)

This is a support for business who are losing small businesses rate relief or rural rate relief due to an increase in their rateable value following the 2017 revaluation. This may cap the level of increase in your bill.

Local discretionary discount scheme

Stroud District Council has been allocated funding of £432,000 (to be spread over 4 years) to create a discretionary relief scheme to help business following the 2017 revaluation. For the financial 20/21 Stroud District Council has been allocate £7000.00

Pub Relief (commencing 1st April 2020)

A discount scheme targeted at occupied pubs that have an RV of under 100,000 which entitles them to a £1,000 reduction in charge, (subject to state aid rules).  This is in addition to retail discount and will be applied after the retail discount

 

There was an announcement in the budget of the 11th March 2020 that the Pub Relief scheme has been extended from £1000 relief to £5000 relief from the 1st of April 2020. 

For more information please click on link below to the official business rates information letter.

Local Newspapers

The Government introduced a £1,500 discount for office space occupied by local newspapers, up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, and up to state aid limits, for 2 years from 1 April 2017.  The discount of the £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspapers has now been extended and will apply for an additional 5 years until 31 March 2025.

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