The government has set out a range of support schemes for businesses to help them during the coronavirus outbreak.
Business rates relief
Some properties are eligible for discounts from the local council on their business rates. This is called business rates relief.
Business rates from April 2020
The government announced that eligible retailers will receive a 50 per cent discount on their business rates bills for one year from April 2020.
- Retail discount 2020 guidance notes and application (word 114 kb)
Whitehill & Bordon Enterprise Zone Relief (from 1st April 2017)
This scheme offers businesses that have a digital sector focus and who occupy within the designated enterprise zone area, a discount of up to £55,000 per year to a maximum of £275,000 per business.
The award will be made on an annual basis from the date of occupation for a period of no longer than five years or until 31 March 2027, whichever is sooner.
Applications for new or start up businesses must meet the required sector test and for existing businesses there is a sector and growth test.
Small business rate relief (from 1st April 2017)
You can get small business rate relief if:
- Your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000
- Your business only uses one property - you may still be able to get relief if you use more
You won’t pay business rates on a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.
For properties with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, the rate of relief is reduced on a sliding scale from 100% to 0%.
- Small business rate relief application form (word 124 kb)
Rural business relief
You could get rural rate relief if your business is in a rural area with a population below 3,000.
You won’t pay business rates if your business is in an eligible area and either:
- Is in a place on our rural settlement list
- Is the only business of that type in the settlement
- Has a rateable value of £8,500 or less (£12,500 or less for public houses and petrol filling stations).
Charitable rate relief
Charities, not-for-profit organisations and community amateur sports clubs can apply for charitable rate relief of up to 80% if a property is used for charitable purposes.
In some cases we may increase this discount to 100%, this is called discretionary relief.
Certain properties are exempt from business rates.
You may not have to pay business rates on:
- Agricultural land and buildings, including fish farms
- Buildings used for training or welfare of disabled people
- Buildings registered for public religious worship or church halls
Part-occupied properties relief
If your business only uses part of a property, you may be able to get a discount.
The Valuation Office will work out the rateable values of the occupied and unoccupied parts. You will then pay full rates on the occupied part, with relief for the unoccupied part.
This reduction is limited to a maximum of 3 months for non industrial buildings, or 6 months for industrial buildings, unless a part of the property has a rateable value of less than £2,900, in which case you will continue to receive the discount until the end of the financial year (31st March).
You may have to pay the full amount of business rates on empty non-domestic properties.
The charge begins after the property has been empty for 6 months for industrial properties, and 3 months for all other types of property.
Some properties can get extended empty property relief:
- Industrial premises (eg warehouses) are exempt for a further 3 months
- Listed buildings - until they’re reoccupied
- Buildings with a rateable value under £2,900 - until they’re reoccupied
- Properties owned by charities - only if the property’s next use will be mostly for charitable purposes
- Community amateur sports clubs buildings - only if the next use will be mostly as a sports club
East Hampshire District Council occasionally reduces a bill because of hardship. When deciding on this, we will consider things such as the benefits the business provides to the local community and its profitability.
The Government has a Transitional Relief Scheme which limits the increase of Business Rates between the two Valuation lists over a number of years until the full amount is charged. This scheme is automatic you do not need to make a claim. The scheme also limits gains were the value has dropped.
To speak with our Revenues team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01730 234400.