The government have recently announced that they will be providing a targeted support package for those businesses who have been unable to benefit from the existing £16 billion business rates relief for those within the hospitality, retail, and leisure sector set to be completed in June. The original relief meant that businesses within the selected sectors were not required to pay any rates during the pandemic.
Many businesses who are ineligible for reliefs have been appealing for discounts on their rates they are still required to pay, arguing that the pandemic should be acknowledged as a “material change of circumstance” (MCC).
The government has since responded to this appeal in stating that market-wide economic changes to property values as a result of COVID-19 can only be reasoned at general rate revaluations and so therefore can not consider COVID-19 as a MCC appeal.
By allowing the appeals on this basis would have led to a dramatic amount of taxpayers support going to businesses who have been able to successfully operate normally throughout the pandemic and so disproportionately benefiting particular regions.
Roughly 170,000 businesses have claimed for MCCs. The initial claims were handled by the Valuation Office Agency, but throughout the pandemic the number of claims continued to grow.
In order to provide extra support to businesses who can not benefit from the relief the government will provide a £1.5 billion pot which will be distributed in accordance to the sectors that have economically suffered the most in comparison to the fall in property values. As a result of this the government have claimed they can secure support to businesses across England in the fairest way possible.
The £1.5 billion pot will be assigned to local authorities based on the stock of properties within the area. Local authorities can use their knowledge of local businesses to make awards.
Since 1992, D E Ball & Co Limited has been an independent business advisory service based in Telford, Shropshire. With their advisors working with businesses in the agriculture, services, construction and retailer sectors, they have a broad span of knowledge to offer. To see find out more about D E Ball, and business rates relied visit: https://www.deball.co.uk/