Updated Relief Scheme March Budget 2020

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.


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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