Non-domestic Rates: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 4th May 2020.

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Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to extend the small business rates relief for covid-19 to (a) independent mortgage advisors (b) private dental practices and (c) small veterinary practices; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Labour, Putney

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to provide additional financial support for (a) dental, (b) physiotherapy and (c) veterinary practices during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government is providing funding for Local Authorities to support small businesses that benefit from small business rates relief (SBRR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief. This will provide a one-off grant of £10,000 per property in receipt of these reliefs, to help meet their continuing business costs. There is no restriction on the type of small business which may be eligible.

In addition to these grants, small businesses may also be able to benefit from the new Discretionary Grant Fund announced by the Government on 1 May. The Government has provided up to an additional £617m for Local Authorities in England to enable them to make grants payments to businesses which are facing high fixed property-related costs, but have been excluded from the existing grants schemes because of the way they are treated by the business rates system. Local Authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for these funds, and businesses will need to apply to their Local Authority in order to receive grants. Businesses which think they may be eligible for a discretionary grant should contact their Local Authority.

Businesses not eligible for grant funding have access to other support measures which the Government has introduced, including:

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme for SMEs
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until 30 June 2020

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply: https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.

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