The Government has announced the 'COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund', which will distribute £1.5 billion to eligible businesses across the country. Fareham has been allocated £2,640,130 of this fund to help support certain ratepayers in the Borough by reducing their 2021-2022 business rates bill. This new discretionary relief scheme is designed to support those businesses affected by the pandemic who are ineligible for the current Extended Retail Discount, it is therefore aimed solely for businesses outside the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors.
Billing authorities are responsible for designing the discretionary relief scheme which will operate in their areas, but must ensure:
We will award relief at 25% of the net Business Rates Liability (2021/22 amount payable) to occupied properties or where a business has vacated premises since 1 April 2021. If the relief creates an overpayment and this is highly likely given the timing of the relief, refunds will be initiated to each ratepayer.
In addition to the Government's conditions above, the relief is only payable where:
We will contact eligible businesses and invite them to apply for the relief, all applicants must complete this application :
We will award relief at 25% of the net Business Rates Liability (2021/22 amount payable) to occupied properties or where a business has vacated premises since 1 April 2021. We assume that some of the companies invited to apply will either not be entitled to relief or not want to claim relief. If this is the case, we will be able to offer a top up relief award to all eligible cases. We will also allocate the estimated surplus along with the top up once these exact figures are known.
The Council reserves the right to change the criteria of the fund scheme, if it is likely to exceed the funds allocated or becomes clear that the scheme may result in reliefs and payments that were not intended.
The Council also reserves the right to use its discretion when assessing applications, where the principles of the scheme are being met but particular details of the scheme are preventing payments to businesses which the Council intended the scheme to help.
More information available in the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) policy (67 KB).
Expanded Retail Discount will continue to apply in 2021/22 at 100% discount for three months, from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021, and at 66% discount for the remaining period, from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022. The discount will be removed from 1 April 2022.
The government confirmed that there would be no cash cap on the relief received for the period from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. From 1 July 2021, relief will be capped at £105,000 per business, or £2 million per business where the business is in occupation of a property that was required, or would have been required, to close, based on the law and guidance applicable on 5 January 2021.
Rateable Properties which benefit from the relief will be those which for a chargeable day in 2021/22:
A business rates Retail Discount Scheme for occupied retail properties; there is no limit on Rateable Value in 2020/2021. The total amount of government-funded relief available for each property for 2020/21 under this scheme is 100% of the bill, after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs. In all cases properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties which are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas, and live music venues, for assembly and leisure or as hotels, guest and boarding premises, self-catering accommodation, cinemas and live music venues.
We consider shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments to mean:
Shops (such as florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc)
Furnishing shops/display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
Car/caravan show rooms
Second-hand car lots
Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)
Hair and beauty services (such as hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc)
Shoe repairs/key cutting
Ticket offices e.g. for theatre
PC/TV/domestic appliance repair
Estate agents and letting agents
Live music venues are properties wholly or mainly used for the performance of live music for the purpose of entertaining an audience.
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
Sport and leisure facilities
Stately homes and historic houses
Wellness centres, spas, massage parlours
Casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls
Clubhouses, clubs and institutions
Hotels, Guest and Boarding Houses
Caravan parks and sites
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
The above lists of property types are not exhaustive and we will consider each application.
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be those business properties occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
To qualify for the relief the property should be normally wholly or mainly being used for the above qualifying purpose. Properties which are occupied but not wholly or mainly used for the qualifying purpose will not qualify for the relief. 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 total amount of government-funded relief available for each property for 2020/21 under this scheme is 100% of the bill, after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs.
For 2020/2021, a £5,000 discount to eligible pubs with a Rateable Value of less than £100,000. This relief is in addition to the retail discount and will apply after the retail discount.