List of businesses exempt from business rates grows
Many high street businesses that have closed due to COVID-19 restrictions will now be exempt from business rates.
Estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls that have closed as a result of COVID-19 measures to restrict the spread of the virus will now be exempted from business rates in 2020-21, the government has announced.
This measure comes after the Chancellor announced in the budget that, in response to COVID-19, the business rates retail discount would be increased to 100 per cent next year and would be expanded to the hospitality and leisure sectors.
On Wednesday, the government announced that some of the exclusions for this relief have been removed, so that retail, leisure and hospitality properties that have closed as a result of the COVID-19 restriction measures will now be eligible for the relief.
This will ensure that estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls that are required to close will not pay any business rates next year.
"We are determined to do whatever it takes to support businesses during COVID-19, which is why we have extended business rates relief for the high street," said Mr Sunak.
"Today, I am removing some the exclusions for this relief, so that retail, leisure and hospitality properties that have closed as a result of the measures announced by the Prime Minister in his statement on Monday will now be eligible for the relief."
Eligible businesses will be rebilled by their local authority and the new bill will give them the discount of 100 per cent, Mr Sunak explained.
If businesses have made payments in the meantime, they will be refunded by their local authority, he said, adding that the government will work with local authorities to ensure new bills are issued as soon as possible.
The government also noted that the Devolved Administrations will receive funding under the Barnett formula to support businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Guidance for local authorities on the application of the holiday will be published by MHCLG shortly.