Business rates coronavirus support and other discounts

Retail Discount

In the Autumn Budget of 2018 the chancellor announced a Retail Discount scheme. This scheme will run in 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years.

Relief is available in the form of Retail Discount to all small (Rateable Value under £51,000) retail (defined below) businesses. 

For the 2019/20 financial year a qualifying retail business could receive a 1/3 reduction from their Business Rates bill, after other reliefs have been considered and applied. 

For the 2020/21 financial year a qualifying retail business could receive a 50% reduction from their Business Rates bill, after other reliefs have been considered and applied. Also in 2020/21 the scheme has been expanded to include live music venues and cinemas with a rateable value of under £51,000.

For the purposes of these regulations retail is defined as businesses that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments. The regulations for the Retail Discount consider shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments to mean:

i. Hereditaments that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public:

  • Shops (such as: florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc) 
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post offices
  • Furnishing shops/display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
  • Car/caravan show rooms
  • Second hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations 
  • Garden centres
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)

ii. Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Hair and beauty services (such as: hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc)
  • Shoe repairs/ key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices e.g. for theatre
  • Dry cleaners
  • Launderettes
  • PC/ TV/ domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire

iii. Hereditaments that are being used for the sale of food and/or drink to visiting members of the public:

  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways
  • Sandwich shops
  • Coffee shops
  • Pubs
  • Bars

It does not consider the following types of Business to be retail. And these are excluded from the scheme. 

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers) 
  • Other services (e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors) 
  • Post office sorting offices

State Aid Limits

This relief is subject to the European Union restrictions on state aid and therefore your business must comply with the EU regulations on state aid.  Any state aid that you receive must be “de minimis” I.E. not exceed €200,000 in total for the current and the 2 previous financial years.

Claim a discount

Apply for a Retail Relief discount

More information

If you have any queries regarding Business Rates relief please contact us using the details below. Please add your Business Rates account number and Retail Discount to the subject line of your email.