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Reliefs and Exemptions

Government Covid19 Response: Business rates measures

January 2021 National lockdown

The Prime Minister announced an immediate national lockdown as a result of Covid-19 in his statement on the evening of 4 January 2021. Further funding to support businesses that are legally required to close due to these new national restrictions has also been announced.

Payments under the Local Restrictions Support Grant for closed businesses will continue from 5th January 2021 along with the Closed Businesses Lockdown Payment which provides a one-off top up grant for all businesses mandated to close during these national restrictions.

Businesses mandated to close that have already applied and qualified for the Local Restrictions Support Grant will receive automatic payments for both schemes, any business that is mandated to close and has not applied will need to complete the application below. Please do not make a further application if you have already applied.

 

One-off payment to Blaby district pubs

The Prime Minister has announced that pubs which do not serve food will receive a one-off payment of £1,000. This is in recognition of how hard pubs have been hit by the virus, in what is typically their busiest month.

Letters have now been issued to public houses to invite them to register their interest in this scheme. A copy of the letter along with the qualifying criteria can be viewed in the download section at the foot of this page.

National Restrictions from 05 November 2020

Following the national restrictions effective from 05 November 2020 the Government  introduced a new Local Restrictions Support Grant to support businesses mandated to close by Government. Qualifying businesses will receive grant amounts as follows:

  • Businesses occupying property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £15,000 or under on the date of the commencement of the widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £1,334 per 28-day qualifying restriction period
  • Businesses occupying property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000 on the date of the commencement of the widespread national restrictions will receive a payment of £2,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period
  • Businesses occupying property appearing on the local rating list with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 or above on the commencement date of the widespread national restrictions, will receive £3,000 per 28-day qualifying restriction period

Applications can be made via the online form 'Support Grant and 28 Day Closure Application' further down the page.

Local Restrictions Support Grant Open Scheme

A copy of the policy is available in the download section at the foot of this page. Please read this policy for a fuller understanding of the eligibility criteria. We will consider awards to businesses allowed to remain open but were severely impacted during periods when the District was in the High and Very High alert levels for the periods, 2nd Dec through to 30th December. Businesses also need to fall into the following categories:

  • A business in the hospitality, hotel, bed and breakfast or leisure industries
  • Have business premises in the district that has a rateable value

There are other eligibility criteria that your business must meet which are explained in section 2 of the policy document.

We now invite expressions of interest for this grant to be sent to the nndr@blaby.gov.uk mailbox. You will receive an automated acknowledgement. The Council will get in touch with you in due course in order to obtain further information and evidence from you.

Please ensure that your email has the heading ‘LRSG OPEN EXPRESSION OF INTEREST’ and provide us with:

  • The name of your business and business address
  • A contact number and contact name

The Council will close the expressions of interest process when the numbers of requests received are at a low level.

Additional Restriction Grant

On 31 October 2020, the Government announced the introduction of additional support for Council’s under the national restrictions. This support will take the form of a funding scheme in Financial Year 2020/2021 and can be used across both 2020/2021 and 2021/22.

Under the Additional Restrictions Grant the Council will receive a one-off lump sum payment to distribute in the form of grants, Blaby District Council envisages that this will primarily take the form of a discretionary grant to help support businesses which contribute to the economy and have been significantly affected by the restrictions imposed.  This includes businesses that suffer significant losses. Blaby District Council is making plans to distribute 80% of this grant funding through two grant schemes.

28 Day Closure Scheme

We are now in a position to invite applications for Grant funding from businesses that have been forced to close due to the 28 day National Lockdown from 5 November to 2 December and are not registered for Business Rates & therefore not eligible for the LRSG (Closed) addendum scheme.  For further information and to make an application please click on the link below

Additional Restrictions Main Scheme

This scheme is now closed.

A copy of the full policy is available in the download section at the foot of this page. We will consider awards to businesses that fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Supplies to retail, hospitality, leisure, events which either cannot operate or is severely restricted in its’ ability to operate during the restriction period
  • Businesses that have received no funding from earlier 2020 Covid Grant funding schemes
  • Businesses that can demonstrate severe reductions in income levels
  • Businesses that the Council considers important to the local economic picture of the district

Applications for this scheme will require additional evidence to be provided relating to:

  • Fixed Costs
  • Income Loss during recent months
  • Any other evidence relevant to the application

Increased relief available

In response to COVID-19 the Government's Budget announced that it would provide additional business rate support to some small businesses. The Chancellor announced, as a temporary measure for 2020/21 that he would:

  • Expand the retail discount to include hospitality and leisure properties. This has further been expanded to include estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies, betting shops and bingo halls
  • Increase the level of the retail discount to 100 per cent for eligible retail businesses giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months
  • Increase the level of the pubs discount to £5000 for pubs with a rateable value less than £100,000
  • Ofsted registered Early Years providers will receive 100% relief for 2020/21

These changes will have effect for 2020/21.

Small business grant funding

This scheme closed to applications on 28 August 2020, any applications received after this date will not be processed 

The Government recognises that many small businesses pay little or no business rates because of Small Business Rate Relief. To support those businesses, the Government will provide extra funding for Local authorities in England to help meet their ongoing business costs by:

  • providing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Expanded Retail Hospitality and Leisure Relief of £10,000
  • providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000

Further assistance for businesses at this time can be found on the Coronavirus Planning Ahead link at the bottom of the page. 

Reliefs and Exemptions

There are several ways you can get help with reducing the Business Rates that you pay:

  • Small Business Rate Relief
  • Unoccupied Property Relief
  • Partly Occupied Property Relief
  • Charity and Registered Community Sports Club Relief
  • Discretionary Relief for Non-Profit Making Organisations
  • Hardship Relief
  • Retail Discount Scheme
  • Pub Discount 2020/21

Exemptions

Certain types of unoccupied properties/owners are exempt from empty property rates. These include:

  • Nationally listed buildings
  • Properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900
  • Companies in Liquidation or Administration
  • Properties which cannot be occupied by law
  • Charity and Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) Registered

To claim unoccupied property relief, you must contact us as soon as the property becomes vacant.

Retail Discount Scheme

In the 2018 budget, the Government announced the launch of the business rates Retail Discount Scheme. This delivers a one-third discount off business rate bills for eligible retail businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 for 2019/20 this has been increased to 50% for 2020/21. Eligible businesses will be invited to apply.

Small Business Rate Relief

Some small businesses can get relief to help them reduce the number of rates they need to pay. To qualify a business must:

  • Occupy one business property in England with a rateable value below £15,000
  • Occupy one business property with a rateable value below £15,000, together with others whose rateable values are below £2,900, and when added together, the total rateable value does not exceed £20,000
  • All rate bills for businesses with rateable values below £51,000 will be calculated using the lower multiplier irrespective of how many properties they occupy

Businesses with rateable values below £12,000 will have 100% relief. Rateable values between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive a percentage reduction on a sliding scale of between 0 and 100%.

Businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief will be allowed to keep that relief for 12 months.

If you are receiving relief and continue to be eligible you will not need to reapply for the relief annually.

You can contact us or fill in the Small Business Rate Relief Application to apply for rates relief.

Unoccupied Property Rating

When a property first becomes empty, there will be a rates free period of six months for industrial assessments and three months for all other properties. After this period has expired we will charge rates at 100%.

A property is only classed as unoccupied when all the items have been removed (except for fixtures and fittings). If a property is being used for storage purposes then full Business Rates must be paid.

If a property has been empty for more than three/six months before it is purchased or leased, then empty property rates will apply immediately from the date the property is purchased or leased.

Charity and Registered Community Amateur Sports Club Relief

Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the Charity or Club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a Registered Community Amateur Sports Club. We have the discretion to give further relief on the remaining 20%. To apply, please complete the Charitable CASC Relief Application.

Discretionary relief

We have the discretion to apply relief to properties in the following circumstances:

  • Properties that are partly occupied for a short time. This will require you to submit a plan of the premises and an inspection will be carried out
  • To non-profit making organisations. You can apply for this by filling in the Discretionary Relief Application form
  • For businesses experiencing hardship. This is given in exceptional circumstances and can be applied for by filling in the Hardship Relief Application form

Supporting Small businesses

Relief is available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of small business or rural rate relief in the 2017 revaluation. If you qualify for this relief it has automatically been awarded to your account. To support these ratepayers annual increases will be limited to the greater of:

  • Cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month)
  • The matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme

Blaby District Council has also adopted a local scheme to limit the increase in bills from the revaluation of 2017/2018, this relief will run until financial year 2020/2021. This relief has been distributed to eligible ratepayers.

If you qualify for any of the relief above it has automatically been awarded to your account. If you are not in receipt of this relief and believe you qualify please contact us.

Pub Discount

In January 2020 Government announced a £1,000 business rate discount for public houses with a rateable value of less than £100,000 for one year from 1st April 2020. This relief will be applied automatically to eligible accounts.

Downloads
Last updated 16 February 2021
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