Business rates/grants Q&A

Will I get retail discount?

All businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector will not be required to pay business rates between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021. This includes shops, pubs, theatres, music venues, restaurants and bingo halls. It also includes estate agents and letting agents. This discount applies to all of these businesses regardless of their size or rateable value.

Will I get an additional cash grant?

Most businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors and those receiving Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief will receive a grant as follows:

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive a £10,000 grant
  • Properties with a rateable value of more than £15,000 and up to £51,000 will receive a £25,000 grant

For clarity the following would not be considered eligible for retail, hospitality and leisure grants but could still qualify if receiving Small Business Rate Relief:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short term loan providers)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g solicitors, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisers)
  • Post Office sorting offices
  • Properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public

When will the additional grant be paid?

Applications can now be made on the business grants page. We are processing applications as they are received and carrying out necessary checks to verify entitlement. Payments are then being made within five working days unless there are queries that require further clarification.

What happens if my application is refused?

If you disagree with the outcome of your application, you do have the right for the decision to be reconsidered. Please supply full details of the reasons why you disagree and explain with evidence why your application should be reconsidered.

If I am not eligible for the additional cash grant, what other help is available?

The government has announced a discretionary coronavirus business grants scheme to help some small businesses that were just outside the eligibility requirements of the small business grants scheme. For more information on this grant scheme, visit our coronavirus business grants page.

Will my nursery get a discount?

The government has announced that individual local authorities can grant relief for Ofsted’s Early Years-registered provider nurseries. Buckinghamshire Council will be using its discretion to award this relief.

Where do I go for more local advice and support?

Any business that is being affected by the coronavirus or has concerns about its future impact on business can visit the Bucks Business First website where the most up-to-date advice and support is being collated. To speak to a member of their Business Support Team call 01494 927130, email: [email protected] or feedback any business concerns via a survey online.

I can’t afford my business rate payments – can you help me?

We would strongly advise you to continue to pay your business rates if you possibly can. However, we would urge any business that is expecting to have difficulties in making their business rate payments to let us know so we can work through issues together in a sensible and practical way.

Business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and organisations

The expanded business rate retail relief announced by the government is being automatically applied to business rate accounts and updated bills sent out.

This means that many retail, hospitality and leisure businesses and organisations will not have to pay business rates between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2021. This includes shops, pubs, theatres, music venues, restaurants, sports clubs and village halls. It also includes estate agents and letting agents, and registered nursery providers.

This discount applies to all of these eligible businesses and organisations regardless of their size or rateable value.

No application is required but any retail, hospitality or leisure business or organisation that does not get an updated bill, but believes they should get relief, should contact their area office using the same contact details as above.