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Business Rate Reliefs

Last updated on: 09-Apr-2021

9. Other reliefs

Relief for Local Newspapers

The Government is providing funding to local authorities so that they can award a discount worth up to £1,500 a year from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2025, to office space occupied by local newspapers.

This is up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per property up to state aid limits.

Supporting Small Businesses Relief

The Supporting Small Businesses scheme will help those ratepayers who, as a result of the change in their rateable value at the revaluation, are losing some or all of their small business or rural rate relief and, as a result, are facing large increases in their bills.

In the first year of the scheme, this means eligible ratepayers will see the increase in their bill capped at £600. The cash minimum increase is a further £600 per year thereafter. This means that ratepayers who are currently paying nothing under small business rate relief and are losing all of their entitlement to relief (i.e. moving from £6,000 rateable value or less to more than £15,000) would under this scheme be paying £3,000 in year five with stepped increases of £600 per annum in each year prior to that.

We will automatically notify ratepayers who are eligible for this relief. If you have not been notified, and believe you are eligible, please contact the Business Rates section on 01474 337564 or email rates@gravesham.gov.uk giving your reasons.

Discretionary Fund Relief

To support businesses in the local area, a £300m discretionary fund has been established from 2017/18. Each local authority has been awarded a share of this fund, and for Gravesham Borough Council, this fund will be spread across the four years from 2017/18 as follows:

  • £174,000 in 2017/18
  • £84,000 in 2018/19
  • £35,000 in 2019/20
  • £5,000 in 2020/21

To ensure the maximum amount of relief is awarded each year, a policy has been created to help those businesses most in need of support.  Eligible businesses will be those facing a 2% increase in their rates (plus up to £100 as a de minimis level for administration purposes), with the only exceptions being empty properties, multi-national companies, those businesses operating in many local authority areas or if the business property has a rateable value of more than £200,000, as this was the basis of the monies being made available by central government.

To apply, please complete the Application Form and return it to the address shown.

Retail Discount

In 2019/20 eligible retail businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 were awarded a discount of one third of their business rates, up to state aid limits. From 1 April 2020 the amount of relief has been increased to 50% and the scheme has been extended to include any cinemas or live music venues (excluding night clubs and theatres) that have a rateable value below £51,000. This discount will be applied to the bill after other reliefs, excluding any local discounts.

The Government has issued guidance on the operation of the scheme. Visit GOV.UK

We will automatically award relief to ratepayers who qualify for this discount. If you have not been notified, and believe you are eligible, please contact the Business Rates section on 01474 337564 or email rates@gravesham.gov.uk giving your reasons.

Pub Relief

A discount of £1,000 was available in 2017/18 and 2018/19 in respect of occupied public houses with a rateable value below £100,000.  The relief was not available in 2019/20 but the Government has reintroduced it for 2020/21.

The discount will be applied after any entitlement to retail discount.

We will automatically notify ratepayers who are eligible for this discount. Any business who believes it is eligible and has not yet received any discount should apply for the relief by emailing the business rates team at rates@gravesham.gov.uk

For more details on pub relief, retail discount, local newspaper relief and rural rate relief, you can read our Business Rate Discretionary Relief Policy.

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