What about business rates and grant support?

Please note that the following information refers to England only. Business rates are devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and there may be different arrangements in each country.

In recognition of the likely impact of Covid-19, the Budget introduced temporary 100% business rates relief for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors – including gyms and sports clubs – for 2020/21 for businesses with certain rateable values.

In addition, the Budget provided that organisations eligible for Small Business Rate Relief would receive a £3,000 grant.

The Chancellor’s speech on 17 March extended this temporary 100% business rates relief to all businesses in these sectors, regardless of their rateable value.

This means all businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will receive 100% business rates relief for 2020/21. The guidance issued to local authorities regarding how to apply this relief has been published by the government and to access click here.

This guidance states that the following properties, among others, will be eligible for the relief:

  • Sports grounds and clubs
  • Sport and leisure facilities
  • Gym

Given that there is now no limit on the rateable value of premises to be eligible, it is our understanding that large sports clubs and stadia will also benefit from 100% relief.

In addition to rates relief, certain retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will also receive cash grants through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant (RHLG).

Those with a rateable value of less than £15,000 will receive £10,000 and those businesses with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will be provided with a grant of £25,000.

Small businesses eligible for Small Businesses Rates Relief or Rural Relief will now be provided with a grant of £10,000 through the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF). This has been increased from the £3,000 grant announced at the Budget.

Recipients eligible for the SBGF will not be eligible for the RHLG.

If you are unsure on the rateable value of your property then click here.

Are Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs) and charities eligible for this support?

Based on the published guidance above, it is our understanding that the additional rates relief is applied after any mandatory relief received, such as that applied to CASC’s and charities. Therefore, these organisations should benefit from the full 100% relief.

However, please note that the guidance confirms that it is for local authorities to administer a local scheme and determine in each individual case when to grant relief.

As regards grant support, see below.

How do I claim for business rates relief and grant support?

To access rate relief, you do not need to do anything as it should be reflected in your bill. However, should you have any queries over eligibility for, or provision of, the relief you should contact your local authority.

Local authorities are in the process of contacting all organisations who are eligible for the RHLG or SBGF. This may be done either electronically or through the post, so it is suggested you check the post at your registered address, if it is safe for you to do so.

If you believe you are eligible for either the RHLG or SBGF and you have not been contacted by your local authority, we suggest making contact with them to clarify this.

Funding for the grants has now been made available to local authorities.

Guidance for businesses on the grants click here and guidance for local authorities click here.

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