£1.5 billion fund will extend business rates relief in England07/05/2021
The government is extending business rates relief with a new, £1.5 billion, fund that will be accessible to all businesses not covered by current business rates relief support across England.
Prior to this fund’s creation, £16 billion in rates relief was offered to targeted sectors (such as retail and hospitality). Businesses in these sectors have not paid any rates in sixteen months, and will not resume payments until the end of June. But many companies outside of these sectors have been appealing for discounts on their rates bills. They have argued, understandably, that the coronavirus pandemic represents a “material change of circumstances” (MCC).
According to the government, market-wide economic changes to property values can only be properly considered at a general rates revaluation. Since the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is such a market-wide effect, the government will legislate to rule out Covid-19 related MCC appeals. However, the government does accept that businesses not covered by the existing rates relief need aid, and has, as a result, created this new £1.5 billion fund.
The new fund will provide aid all across England, distributed according to which sectors have suffered most economically, rather than being based on property values. This has been done to provide a fairer distribution method, with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak saying “By providing more targeted support than the business rates appeals system, our approach will help protect and support jobs in businesses across the country, providing a further boost as we reopen the economy, emerge from this crisis, and build back better.”
The £1.5 billion pot will be allocated by local authorities, who will use their knowledge of local business and the local economy to make awards. To find out more about how you can access this fund, and what we can do to help you ensure you are getting all the aid to which you are entitled, call JW Hinks on 0121 456 0190.