Commonly asked Business Rates questions and answers about the Coronavirus

I have received a NDR bill but I haven’t got 100% retail discount?

All bills were issued with retail discount set at 50% and pub relief at £1000. This has now been changed in that all qualifying hereditaments with RV’s under £51,000 have been awarded 100% retail discount. Public houses may show 50% retail and 50% pub relief but the balance is correct.

Premises with RV’s over £51,000 have been updated, additional premises e.g. self-catering accommodation identified and relief awarded. Revised bills have now been dispatched.

My property description isn’t in the list of qualifying hereditaments but my business is used for retail/leisure/hospitality

We are currently looking at identifying premises which do not have a retail description but have retail usage. We are looking at resources to assist us with identifying these hereditaments, your premises will be added to the list that is being maintained.

Whilst we have no wish to cause hardship to any of our customers who pay Non Domestic Rates, priority will be given to those that are entitled based on description and we will contact you as soon as we are able with a decision regarding being able to apply the retail discount to these premises.

If you believe the description of your property is wrong you can visit the VOA website and use check and challenge with a view to getting this corrected. 

What can you tell me about the grant scheme?

There are 2 schemes:

Scheme 1 - Business Support Grants Fund 

The current proposals are that all properties who get rural rate relief, small business rates relief or tapered relief on the 11 March. These will be eligible for a grant payment of £10,000.

Scheme 2 - Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Grants Fund

Announced by the Chancellor on the 17 March the current proposal is that properties which would have qualified for retail discount on 11 March will be entitled to either:

  • £10,000 where the RV is £15,000 or less or,
  • £25,000 where the RV is greater than £15,000 and less than £51,000.

There is further guidance on our business support grant scheme page.

When am I going to hear about getting help with a grant to support my business and how much will it be?

We are currently working on identifying businesses which will be eligible for the grants. A one-off grant of £10,000 to support small businesses currently eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) or rural rate relief.

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector in England, then you may be entitled to a cash grant. If you have a property with a rateable value of less than £15,000 then you will be entitled to a grant of £10,000, whether or not you are entitled to small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

If your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector. If you have a property with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £50,999, then you will be entitled to a cash grant of £25,000.

BUSINESS GRANTS UPDATE - 7 April 2020

If you have not received notification but believe you should be receiving a grant payment then please use our Eligibility Calculator.

 

I have a beach hut/mooring plot/private stables will I be eligible for the grant?

These types of properties which are occupied for personal use, such as private stables and beach huts and moorings. These will not qualify for this grant even if they are receiving small business rate relief.

I have a property which gets small business rates relief but it also has a retail/leisure/hospitality description, will I get both grants?

No, only one grant will be awarded.

We are a non-local authority nursery open to children of keyworkers, will we be required to pay business rates?

The total amount of government-funded relief available for each property for 2020/21 under this scheme is 100% of the bill, after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs have been applied.

These businesses have now been identified and revised bills have now been dispatched.

I don’t fall into any of these groups, I can’t pay my business rates, what should I do?

Check whether you may still be eligible for small business rate relief and if so please apply online.

We are currently suspending taking recovery action but if you are in a position to make payments towards your accounts please do so. Please cancel your direct debit if you need to do so and consider opting for payments over 12 months instead of 10.

My business property is empty, do I still have to pay empty rates?

At the moment the Government have not announced any changes to the legislation regarding empty properties.

We are currently suspending taking recovery action but if you are in a position to make payments towards your account/s please do so. Please cancel your direct debit if you need to do so and consider opting for payments over 12 months instead of 10.

I have arranged for my property to be transferred from Council Tax to the Non Domestic Rating List, will I still be able to get a grant?

No, any changes to a property’s rateable value or new entries into the rating list after the schemes eligibility date of the 11 March 2020, including any backdated amendments will be ignored and will not be eligible for the grant.

I now want to transfer my property from Council Tax to Non Domestic Rates, I’ve been running a business but I haven’t told you, can I still get the grant?

No. It is now too late to qualify for the grant.

Where else can I get help and advice about how Coronavirus is affecting my business?

If your business is being impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic or If your business is experiencing financial difficulty as a result. Visit the Government business support pages for more help and advice.

My business premises are currently empty will I be able to get a grant or any other discount?

The Government has made no provision to offer grants or discounts to premises which are vacant,

I haven’t told you about my business being in occupation, will I qualify for a grant payment and the publicised rate relief?

The Council team are working extremely hard to process high volumes of payments to the businesses that we are already aware of and these will take some time to work through.

To speed up the handling of your case and our assistance to you, and to be considered for eligibility for either, you will need to give us:

  • full details of the premises that you occupy
  • date that you took responsibility for the premise

You must also provide supporting evidence so that we can verify your business is in occupation and trading. Things that will help with this are copies of:

  • lease agreements
  • evidence of public liability insurance for the business premises
  • other utility bills showing use of supplies and services consistent with trading
  • any other accounting receipts you think would help.

Please email these details along with the supporting documentation and a contact telephone number to brates@north-norfolk.gov.uk