The original Retail Discount scheme applied to qualifying retail premises with a Rateable Value of under £51,000 and gave 33% off the 2019/20 rates bill. Nationwide relief was capped at €200,000/£170,000.
On 18th March 2020 Expanded Retail Discount widened recipients to include those in the Leisure & Hospitality Sectors They key changes are;-
• Retail Discount extended to cover leisure & hospitality uses as well as retail.
• Discount increased from 50% to 100% for 2020/21 on Qualifying Properties only
• £51,000 Rateable Value Cap removed
• State aid cap of €200,000 removed.
What are Qualifying Properties?
a) Shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
b) for assembly and leisure; or
c) as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation
Are all properties with an RV under £51,000 now exempt? No, they are not – This inaccuracy has been widely reported in the press, leading many businesses to think they will automatically receive 100% relief and grant assistance.
England – Additional Grant Assistance
Under the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) all businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) will automatically receive a payment of £10,000. SBRR applies to companies which have a single site with a Rateable Value of £15,000 or below. You must have been receiving SBRR on 11 March 2020 to qualify however there are a few exceptions. The guidance makes it clear that manipulation of the system will result in prosecution for fraud.
Eligible properties that don’t receive SBRR will be entitled to receive a grant under the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund (RHLG). Properties with rateable values of up to and including £15,000, not receiving SBRR will receive £10,000. Properties with rateable values of between £15,001 and £50,999 will receive a grant of £25,000 per property.
If you are not a recipient of Expanded Retail Discount, then you will not receive Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants.
Local councils should contact ratepayers directly over the course of April. If you need assistance then we’re here to help.