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Retail relief

The Government announced in 2018 a business rates retail relief scheme for occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000. The value of relief was be one third of the bill in 2019/20.

The Government have announced a range of support for businesses in response to the impact of COVID – 19. For the 2020/21 financial year:

  • The ratable value limit of £51,000 has been removed
  • Qualifying properties have been extended to cover properties in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors
  • The amount of relief will be 100% meaning that qualifying businesses will not have any business rates to pay for the 2020/21 financial year.

Although your businesses may not have to pay business rates for the 2020/21 financial year you should still inform Birmingham City Council of any changes in your circumstances.

Properties that will benefit from this relief

For the 2020/21 financial year businesses that benefit from the relief will be occupied premises (or premises that would have been occupied if they had not been closed due to Covid 19) that are wholly or mainly being used for retail, leisure and hospitality. This includes:

i.    Premises 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)

ii.    Premises 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
  • Betting Shops qualify for this relief from 1 April 2020
  • Estate agents and letting agents qualify for this relief from 1 April 2020
  • Employment agencies qualify for this relief from 1 April 2020

iii.    Premises 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

iv. Premises that are being used as cinemas qualify for this relief from 1 April 2020

v. Premises that are being used as live music venues qualify for this relief from 1 April 2020

  • These are premises that are wholly or mainly used for the performance of live music for the purposes of entertaining an audience. This does not include premises wholly or mainly used as nightclubs or theatres.
  • Premises can be a live music venue even if used for other activities. However, these activities must be either ancillary (e.g. sale of alcohol to the audience) or infrequent enough to not affect the primary activity (such as a fortnightly community event).

vi. Premises being used for the provision of sport, leisure and facilities to visiting members of the public qualify for this relief from 1 April 2020:

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

vii. Premises being used for the assembly of visiting members of the public qualify for this relief from 1 April 2020:

  • Public halls
  • Clubhouses, clubs and institutions

viii. Premises where the non-domestic part is being used for the provision of living accommodation as a business qualify for this relief from 1 April 2020:

  • Hotels, guest and boarding houses
  • Holiday homes
  • Caravan parks and sites

The list below sets out the types of uses that are not considered to be retail use for the purpose of this relief.

i.    Premises 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, bureaux de change, payday lenders)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers)
  • Post office sorting offices

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

How much relief is available?

The total amount of relief available for each property will be one third of the bill in 2019 – 2020 and 100% of the bill in 2020/21. The eligibility for the relief and the relief itself will be assessed and calculated on a daily basis.

Applying for the relief

If you haven’t received this relief and wish to apply

Please complete the enquiry form

We will assess your application and if you meet the prescribed conditions the award will be made and you will be sent a new bill.