Coronavirus: Business rates abolished for thousands of small businesses to ease economic impact
Date published: 17 March 2020
Yorkshire Street, Rochdale
Business rates for thousands of small businesses across the UK have been abolished as part of an emergency package to help with the economic impact of coronavirus.
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.
- a statutory sick pay relief package for SMEs
- a Business Rate Relief for small businesses and pubs
- small business grant funding of £3,000 for all business in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief
- the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme to support long-term viable businesses who may need to respond to cash-flow pressures by seeking additional finance
- the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme
Support for businesses who are paying sick pay to employees
Small and medium sized business and employers will be able to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for absence due to the coronavirus.
Companies with fewer than 250 employees will be eligible, and the refund will cover up to two weeks’ Statutory Sick Pay per eligible employee who has been off work because of coronavirus.
Support for businesses who pay business rates
For the 2020 to 2021 tax year, properties below £51,000 rateable value will have their Business Rates discounted by 100%. This will be expanded to the leisure and hospitality sectors in response to the virus.
Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be rebilled by their local authority as soon as possible.
Those businesses eligible for the newly expanded retail discount and/or the new pubs discount may need to apply to their local authority to receive the discount.
Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs should be directed to the local authority.
Support for businesses who pay little or no business rates
The government will provide an additional £2.2 billion funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR). This will provide a one-off grant of £3,000 to business currently eligible for SBRR or Rural Rate Relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs.
If your business is eligible for SBRR or Rural Business Rate Relief, you will be contacted by your local authority – you do not need to apply.
Support for businesses through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A new temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, delivered by the British Business Bank, will launch in a matter of weeks to support businesses to access bank lending and overdrafts.
Support for businesses paying tax
Businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive support with tax affairs through HMRC’s Time To Pay service.
These arrangements are agreed on a case-by-case basis and are tailored to individual circumstances and liabilities.
If you are concerned about being able to pay your tax due to COVID-19, call HMRC’s dedicated helpline on 0800 0159 559.
Businesses should check with their insurance provider if they are covered.
Further guidance is available at:
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