Coronavirus: support for business

Updated 29.08.20

The Government has confirmed a package of financial measures to support businesses. The closing date for the Government grants was on Midnight Friday, August 28 2020.

Business rates reliefs

100% rates discount

The chancellor had announced in the budget that all hospitality, leisure and retail businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 would be eligible for a 100 per cent rates discount. On the 17th March 2020 the Chancellor extended that to cover all retailers of any size, irrespective of rateable value.

100% retail relief has been extended to all retail, hospitality and leisure properties (such as museums, live music venues, theatres, gyms and hotels) for the whole of 2020/21.

Following the announcement on 23 March 2020 of further measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, the Government confirmed that some of the exclusions for this relief have been removed, so that retail, leisure, and hospitality properties that will have had to close as a result of the restriction measures will now be eligible for the relief.

The following hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services will not qualify for the relief:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers)
  • Post office sorting offices
  • Not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public

*Government has applied to the EU to waive state aid limits that currently apply.

Pub relief

The Chancellor did announce additional relief for pubs totalling £5,000. However, as Pubs are now specifically included in the 100% retail relief outlined above, this relief no longer applies.

Nursery discount 2020/21: coronavirus response

On 18 March, in response to the coronavirus, the Government announced that many childcare providers would pay no business rates in 2020/21. 100% relief will be paid to all premises occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage and which are subject to business rates in the year 2020/21.

Additional relief information

Where we can, we will award any relief direct to the account. If you believe you are eligible but have not had the relief awarded to your account, please email us at businessrates@blackburn.gov.uk.

You do not need to employ rating agents or other organisations outside of the Council to claim the support that is available. These agents will probably take a percentage of any relief or grant they claim on your behalf. Please be extra careful with what you sign and how you respond to organisations that may contact you offering support.

Cash grant for businesses

The deadline for receiving applications for Government Grants closed on midnight Friday 28th August 2020.

Enquiries regarding the status of individual applications can be emailed to businessrates@blackburn.gov.uk.

Recovery

We expect that businesses to maintain their direct debits or payment plans and keep up with their payment plan that is on the bill.

If you are having difficulties paying, you must contact us as soon as possible. To speak to an advisor call 01254 588115 between the hours of 10am and 3pm; alternatively you can email us at businessrates@blackburn.gov.uk

We can check that you are receiving all the discounts and reliefs that you may be entitled to, and discuss payment options with you. We may be able to offer alternative payment dates or extend payments to help you.

If you don't pay

Payments are due on or before the date detailed on your most recent business rates bill. If you do not pay in line with the bill, recovery action will be taken and this may incur further costs.

A reminder notice can be issued at any time after a payment becomes due.

If you fall into arrears again, a final notice will be issued and the full balance of your account will become due.