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Coronavirus Announcements and Budget 2020

Coronavirus Announcements and Budget 2020

Business Rates service update

We have been actively reviewing Government announcements daily so that we can continue to deliver services, while at the same time protecting you and our colleagues. The latest advice has caused us to make some changes to the way we deliver our service.

We will try to run our service as normally as possible, but there may be some delays. Staff will be working from home to prevent the illness spreading. This means that we will try to email you where possible, or there may be a delay when we post letters  to you. We will work hard to make sure that documents you post to us are scanned on to our system as quickly as possible to minimise delays.

How to contact us

We will still accept calls on 0118 974 6000, but there are likely to be some interruptions to the service. You can also email us at: brates@wokingham.gov.uk

Business Rate relief and guidance 

There have been several alterations to eligibility criteria for Rating Reliefs for 2020 to 2021 tax year, some of which were announced on 27 January 2020, followed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget on 10 March 2020. 

Along with more recent statements as a response to the COVID-19 situation:

  • There will be a business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England. You do not need to do anything. This will be applied to your next bill in April 2020
  • Pub relief is being increased to £5,000  
  • Introduction of a nursery discount of 100 percent for business properties occupied by providers on Ofsted's Early Years Register, and used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage

All these rating reliefs are subject to State Aid rules and apply to England only.

Apply for a business grant

On 17 March 2020 the Chancellor of the Exchequer stated that the Government would provide:

  • A £10,000 grant to businesses with a Rateable Value of up to £15,000 and who are currently entitled to Small Business Rate Relief in order to help meet their ongoing business costs  
  • A £10,000 grant to businesses who pay no Rates as they currently receive mandatory Rural Rate Relief    
  • A £10,000 grant to retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses operating from premises whose Rateable Value is up to £15,000   
  • A £25,000 grant to retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses operating from premises whose Rateable Value is between £15,000 and £51,000

The date for eligibility is 11 March 2020.  Eligible recipients will receive one grant per hereditament only.

Businesses which are not ratepayers in the Business Rates system are not included in this scheme. 
Hereditaments occupied for personal uses, for example private stables, car parks and parking spaces, loose boxes and self-storage will not qualify, neither will any hereditament over the Rateable Value of £51,000.

If you think you are eligible for one of the above grants, complete our online business grant form to assist us in the awarding of the grant.

We appreciate your patience during this time

Whilst we appreciate that this is a difficult time for many businesses and hope that these measures will help, please could we ask for your patience whilst we make all the necessary changes once we have received the guidance from Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG.)

If your business continues to struggle please contact us so we can work with you to arrive at a more manageable repayment plan.

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