Business rate relief schemes - Retail discount

Business Rates Local Retail Discount Scheme for 2019/20 and 2020/21

Retail discount

Please note that the Council is currently awaiting further detailed information from the Government before we can award this discount and issue new bills for 2020/21.

The government announced at the Autumn Budget 2018 that it would provide assistance for local authorities to adopt a Business Rates retail discount scheme. This was for occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 in 2019/20 and amounted to one third (33.3%) of your business rates bill for 2019/20. The Government is increasing this discount to 100% for 2020/21. This means that qualifying businesses will pay no business rates for 2020/21.

The discount will be awarded automatically where it is clear that the qualifying criteria are satisfied.

Please contact the Business Rates team on (01909) 533460 if you have not received the relief and believe that you are entitled to it.

The Government guidelines state that to be eligible for the discount the retail premises must be:

  • occupied (empty premises do not qualify)
  • have an occupied rates charge for the year (properties receiving 100% Small Business Rate Relief, for example, do not qualify)
  • be wholly, or mainly, used for retail purposes for visiting members of the public

Qualifying retail uses include:

  • shops
  • post offices
  • car showrooms
  • car hire premises
  • opticians
  • petrol stations
  • restaurants
  • cafes
  • Pubs
  • Bars
  • Garden centres
  • Markets
  • Hairdressers, beauty and tanning salons, nail bars
  • Shoe repairs/key cutting
  • Travel Agents
  • Dry cleaners
  • Cinemas (from 2020 only)
  • Live music venues (from 2020 only)
  • Leisure premises (gyms, museums, galleries, nightclubs etc… from 2020 only)
  • Hospitality premises (hotels and guesthouses etc… from 2020 only)

This is not an exhaustive list, please contact the Business Rates Unit if you are unsure whether your business will qualify for this discount.

Do all businesses qualify for relief?

No. The government has identified certain retail uses that do not qualify for the discount, Your premises will not get a discount if it’s being used for the following:

  • Financial services, such as banks, building societies, cash points
  • Individual cash points and retail units with only cash points in them
  • Bureaux de change
  • Payday lenders
  • Betting shops
  • Pawn brokers
  • Estate agents
  • Letting agents
  • Employment agencies
  • Dentists
  • Doctors
  • Osteopaths
  • Chiropractors
  • Vets
  • Solicitors
  • Accountants
  • Insurance agents
  • Financial advisers
  • Post Office sorting offices
  • Other properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public

State aid

Awards such as Retail Discount are required to comply with the EU law on State Aid. You are required to notify the Council if you have received any other de minimis State Aid and the award of aid in total exceeds €200,000 which has been granted over a 3 year period (comprising of 2020/21, 2019/20 and 2018/19). You must let the Business Rates Unit know if the award of retail discount means that your state aid exceeds €200,000.

Further information on state aid law can be found on the GOV.UK website.




Last Updated on Wednesday, March 18, 2020