Market Insights
Tue, 17/03/2020 - 12:00
· 1 min read

Covid19 business rates measures for retailers

In today’s daily briefing the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, delivered pledges claimed to be worth £20bn to the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors alone.

The pledges are as follows:

  • Those businesses who until today met the 100% Retail Rate Relief criteria of having a property with a rateable value of less than £51,000 may be entitled to a grant of £25,000, and separately;
  • The rateable value threshold of less than £51,000 in order to get Retail Rate Relief is to be scrapped.

In last week’s budget the Chancellor announced Retail Rate Relief would be broadened in order to capture leisure and hospitality properties, whereby the relief for 2020/21 was to be 100% for premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000. The budget measure was subject to EC state aid rules that cap the relief at €200,000 in any three year period, meaning that many chain retailers had already reached the limit under the 2019/20 scheme.

Today’s announcement follows the EU’s press release on 13 March, in which the European Commission stated that it may relax the state aid limit under Article 107(3)(b)TFEU, that permits additional support measures to remedy the disturbance in the economy of a member state.

These measures appear to be separate to the £330bn loan package that was announced by the Chancellor today.

We await further clarification of these measures that Government will announce imminently.

We also await confirmation of the EC’s position on state aid (which may relax the €200,000 limit) and will confirm matters once the detail is received from Government.

Covid19 business rates measures for retailers