Business Rates Retail Relief Scheme

There is a relief available of up to £1000 for all occupied retail properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less in 2014-15 and up to £1,500 in 2015-16.

Qualifying Conditions

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less, that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments.

Shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments are considered to mean:

  1. Properties that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public; 
  2. Properties that are being used for the provision of services to visiting members of the public; 
  3. Properties that are being used for the sale of food and/ or drink to visiting members of the public

The term wholly or mainly being used as a shop, restaurant, cafe or drinking establishment is a test on use rather than occupation. Therefore, properties which are occupied but not wholly or mainly used for the qualifying purpose will not qualify for the relief.

Examples of Retail Premises

  1. Properties that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public: 
    • Shops (such as: florist, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off-licence, 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 hard car lots 
    • Markets 
    • Petrol stations 
    • Garden centres 
    • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)
  2. 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 
    • DVD/ video rentals 
    • Tool hire 
    • Car hire
  3. 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

The list set out above is not intended to be exhaustive as it would be impossible to list the many and varied retail uses that exist.

There will also be mixed uses and properties which are not listed but are broadly similar in nature to those listed. These will be considered eligible for the relief.

Conversely, properties that are not broadly similar in nature to those listed above should not be eligible for the relief.

Properties which are not eligible for the relief.

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

Level of Relief

The total amount of relief available for each property is £1,000 for 2014-2015 and £1,500 for 2015-2016.

This will be assessed and calculated on a daily basis.

The relief will be applied against the net bill after all other reliefs.

If the net bill is less than:

  • £1,000 for 2014-2015, or 
  • £1,500 for 2015-2016

then that will be the maximum applicable amount of Retail Relief

Appeals

Due to the limited time span of the relief and because it works to Government guidance there will be no appeals procedure to Council Members. However any disputes will be re-examined by an independent officer.

This relief is subject to European State Aid limits, and as such the Council must be satisfied that awarding relief will not result in the business concerned exceeding the “de minimis” threshold of €200,000 over a 3 year period.

There is more information about Retail Relief on the GOV.UK website.