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What amount of relief is available?

Under the Retail Discount scheme, businesses that have a retail property with a rateable valuation below £51,000 may be eligible for a 50% discount towards their final bill. The relief will take effect for 2020/21.

If you are already in receipt of relief for 2019/20 it will be automatically be awarded for 2020/21 and will show on your bill.

If you would like to check whether you are entitled please read the State Aid information fully to make sure that you may qualify.

You can then download and complete a Retail Discount Application Form and State Aid De Minimis Declaration Form.

Who will benefit from the relief?

In response to the Coronavirus, in the Budget on 11 March 2020; the Government announced that it would increase the discount to 100% and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors.

This relief will apply to occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties in the year 2020/21. There will be no rateable value limit on the relief.

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied and wholly or mainly be used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues;
  • for assembly and leisure; or
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

Sale of Goods

We consider shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues to be properties that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public:

  • Shops (such as: florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post offices
  • Furnishing shops/ display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
  • Car/caravan show rooms
  • Second-hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations
  • Garden centres
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)

Provision of services

Properties that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Hair and beauty services (such as: hair dressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc)
  • Shoe repairs/key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices e.g. for theatre
  • Dry cleaners
  • Launderettes
  • PC/TV/domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire

Sale of food and drink

Properties that are being used for the sale of food and/or drink to visiting members of the public:

  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways
  • Sandwich shops
  • Coffee shops
  • Pubs
  • Bars

Cinemas

Properties which are being used as cinemas

Music venues

Live music venues are properties wholly or mainly used for the performance of live music for the purpose of entertaining an audience. Properties cannot be considered a live music venue for the purpose of business rates relief where a venue is wholly or mainly used as a nightclub or a theatre, for the purposes of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended).

Properties can be a live music venue even if used for other activities, but only if those other activities:

  • are merely ancillary or incidental to the performance of live music (e.g. the sale/supply of alcohol to audience members); and
  • do not affect the fact that the primary activity for the premises is the performance of live music.

Leisure

We consider assembly and leisure to be properties that are being used for the provision of sport, leisure and facilities to visiting members of the public (including for the viewing of such activities):

  • Sports grounds and clubs
  • Museums and art galleries
  • Nightclubs
  • Sport and leisure facilities
  • Stately homes and historic houses
  • Theatres
  • Tourist attractions
  • Gyms

Properties that are being used for the assembly of visiting members of the public:

  • Public halls
  • Clubhouses, clubs and institutions

Hotels, guest & boarding premises, self-catering accommodation

We consider hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation to be properties where the non-domestic part is being used for the provision of living accommodation as a business:

  • Hotels, Guest and Boarding Houses
  • Holiday homes
  • Caravan parks and sites

For the avoidance of doubt, properties which have closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID19 should be treated as occupied for the purposes of this relief.

The following are examples of uses that the government does not consider to be retail for the purposes of this relief.

Services to visiting members of the public

Properties that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • Other services (e.g. Estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisers, tutors)
  • Post office sorting offices
  • Casinos and gambling clubs

Properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.

© 2020 Stevenage Borough Council