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Business rates and grants - regional variations
24/03/2020

We have written about the changes to business rates for businesses in England due to COVID-19. There is also a Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme that provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property as well as a one-off Small Business Grant of up to £10,000 to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief (SBBR), rural rate relief (RRR) and tapered relief.

The business rates in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set by the devolved administrations. We have set out below the main regional variations.

Scotland

To help owners of non-domestic properties, including businesses, deal with the impact of COVID-19, the Scottish Government has made changes to non-domestic rates (business rates) for 2020-21.

All non-domestic properties in Scotland will get a 1.6% rates relief. This relief effectively reverses the change in poundage for 2020-21. You do not need to apply for this relief, and it will be applied to your bill by your local council.

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will get 100% rates relief. To get this relief, a property has to be occupied. Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with a rateable value between £18,000 and up to and including £51,000 will be able to apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.

A one-off grant of £10,000 will also be available to small businesses who get Small Business Bonus Scheme relief or Rural Relief.

The Scottish Government is working with Scotland's 32 Councils and other stakeholders to agree a common approach to the application process for the grants and 100% rates relief.

Wales

Retail, leisure and hospitality businesses will receive 100% business rates relief for 2020-21.

For retail, leisure and hospitality businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £51,000, a grant of £25,000 will be offered.

The new reliefs also provide a £10,000 grant to all businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief and with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

Businesses that qualify for this support will not need to do anything to apply for this scheme. This will be administered through the Business Rates system. You do not need to contact your Local Authority about this, you will receive information in due course.

Northern Ireland

Businesses in Northern Ireland can access the following schemes:

  • COVID Small Business Grant - Small business grant of £10,000 to be issued immediately with a cost of £267m providing support to 27,000 businesses in NI. This is for all businesses with a NAV up to £15,000
  • Hospitality, Tourism and Retail Sectors Grant Scheme - An immediate grant of £25,000 will be provided to companies in these sectors with a rateable value up to £51,000.

Further information on these schemes will be made available at NI Business Info.

All NI businesses will pay zero rates for the next three months (April, May, June). This automatically reduces rates by 25%, in addition to any existing rate reliefs. This applies to all businesses and does not need to be repaid.