HOSPITALITY, RETAIL AND LEISURE BUSINESSES URGED TO ENSURE THEY ARE REGISTERED FOR RATES RELIEF AS PART OF CORONAVIRUS IMPACT RECOVERY

Business Rates specialists at Harris Lamb have issued a reminder to retail, leisure and hospitality operators to update themselves on the various rates relief policies in place across the UK as they attempt to recoup some of the losses resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Policies across England, Scotland and Wales differ, with the majority of businesses across the three sectors being assured that rates relief measures will continue to apply until March next year.

The Government confirmed earlier this year that in England, its Expanded Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Discount would continue to apply in 2021/22, with cash caps put in place according to the impact the country’s third national lockdown had on their businesses.

HOSPITALITY, RETAIL AND LEISURE BUSINESSES URGED TO ENSURE THEY ARE REGISTERED FOR RATES RELIEF AS PART OF CORONAVIRUS IMPACT RECOVERY
Charles Shephard

Charles Shephard, of Harris Lamb’s Business Rates team, said: “The Government made a commitment on March 3rd this year that it would offer 100 per cent rates relief from the period of April 1st-June 30th 2021, with a 66 per cent relief taking its place for the remaining period of July 1st 2021 to March 31st 2022 for those businesses affected in England.

“It was also confirmed that while there would be no cash cap on the relief received for that first three-month period, from July 1st this year, relief will be capped at £105,000 per business for those that remained open during the lockdown, or capped at £2m for businesses that were required to close when the third national lockdown came into force on January 5th 2021.

“Ultimately, it means that a total of 750,000 retail, hospitality and leisure properties in England will pay no business rates until June 30th. The discount is automatically applied if the property qualified for the discount prior, but it’s important that any business within those sectors affected by the Government’s Coronavirus response checks if they are eligible and have registered as such,” he added.

Charles added that the Welsh Government has announced an extension of its business rates holiday for another year, meaning that retail, hospitality and leisure premises in Wales with a rateable value of up to £500,000 will not have to pay business rates until March 31, 2022; a discount that again, should automatically be applied if the property qualified for relief prior.

This £380 million relief package, in combination with the existing Small Business Rates Relief scheme, will benefit up to 70,000 businesses.

In Scotland, those business across the three sectors, in addition to aviation businesses, have also been assured that they will pay no rates from April 1st 2020 to March 31st 2021, with relief once more automatically being processed by local authorities.

Charles added: “With non-essential retailers having finally been allowed to open their doors this month, but many leisure and hospitality businesses still confined to operating only if they have outdoor space, it is vital that all of these businesses check their entitlement. It’s also important to note that Ratepayers occupying more than one property will be entitled to Retail Relief for each of their eligible properties.

“The next 12 months are paramount in helping businesses welcome back their customers and re-cement their foundations, and every penny that can be secured in financial aid to help that recovery should be claimed.”

For further information and guidance on the Expanded Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Discount, contact Charles on charles.shephard@harrislamb.com.