COVID-19

Temporary rate reliefs and support for business

On 11 March, the Chancellor announced the Government’s tax and spending plans for 2020/21 with the addition of a series of temporary rate reliefs and support for businesses in response to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). There was also a further announcement by the Chancellor on 17 March providing further reliefs.

These new measures mean that many business rate bills already sent to businesses for the coming year will need to be amended and reissued.

The Council is making the following information available for businesses. It will be updated if we receive further information from the Government.

What are the new support measures that have been announced?

Businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors will receive 100% rate relief for 2020/21 regardless of the rateable value. They will not need to pay business rates for 2020/21.

Businesses who receive Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) will be eligible for a £10,000 grant in 2020/21 on top of their existing relief.

Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector in small premises with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 may be entitled to a grant of £25,000 (pending further guidance being made available from the Government).

My business is classified as retail, leisure or in the hospitality sector, will I need to apply for the new 100% rate relief?

No – the Council will look to automatically identify your business as an eligible business for the enhanced relief and reissue your business rates bill as soon as we can, subject to guidance being made available by the government.

If you believe that your business should qualify but you do not receive a letter or bill by 17 April 2020, please email us. During this application stage, you do not have to pay your original business rates bill, however, if your application does not fulfil the eligibility criteria, you will have to pay the amount stated in your existing business rates bill for 2020/21.

I don’t receive small business rate relief, is this automatically applied if I am eligible?

No – If you have not previously received small business rates relief you have to apply for this. To be eligible you must have a rateable value of less than £15,000 and occupy one property (in some cases businesses can occupy more than one). You can apply for the relief online.

I receive small business rate relief how do I apply for the additional £10,000 grant?

We fully appreciate the need to provide this support as quickly as possible. We are waiting for further information on these new grants and we are not in a position yet to deal with enquiries concerning eligibility or confirm details of payment dates. If you are already in receipt of small business rate relief you will be contacted when we have further details and have established payment arrangements.

My business is not eligible for any of the new enhanced rate reliefs. Will my business rates bill be reissued anyway?

No – your bill will remain the same and you must pay within the timeline set out in your existing 2020/21 business rates bill. If you are having difficulty paying your business rates then please contact the business rates team to discuss alternative payment arrangements.

State Aid information

We are currently awaiting further information as to whether the current State Aid limits will continue to apply for 2020/21. Any further information will be updated when it is available.
For more information visit : https://www.bexley.gov.uk/news/temporary-rate-reliefs-and-support-business

For updated information on the Council website and via the Council’s twitter feed @LBofBexley

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