Reaction to Business Rates announcements in the Budget

12 March 2020

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The Chancellor of the Exchequer yesterday announced a substantial additional scheme of business rate relief for businesses in the retail and leisure sectors in England.

Businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for full relief from rates for the year 2020/21.

The measure applies to shops, cinemas, restaurants, museums, art galleries, theatres, caravan parks, gyms, small hotels and nightclubs.

The Chancellor is conscious of the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on the hospitality section.

He also announced yet another review of the business rate system as a whole with the conclusions published in the autumn. The last review and report was produced by a Treasury Select Committee in October 2019!

Furthermore, £3,000 cash grants are being promised to 700,000 small businesses with rateable values below £15,000.

Additional rate relief available to pubs will increase from £1,000 to £5,000.

However there is a sting in the tail. Larger retail and leisure chains may not benefit from the rates holiday due to the state aid rules cap on the amount attached to the relief a business can claim over three years. Some firms have already reached the limit as a result of rate relief claimed in previous years.

Clearly this is a substantial package of aid which should be commended and will be very well received.

However, these measures only apply to England. We understand the Welsh Government will be consulting business organisations this week before announcing its conclusions and any additional business rate reliefs.

I have worked with Jeremy Symons over the past three years successfully leasing and buying property in support of my business. I continue to be very pleased with his knowledge of the market and expertise. Our relationship over this time has resulted in acquiring 20,000 sq ft at Capital Business Park in Cardiff, leasing 11,000 sq ft at Southpoint, and subsequently leasing an initial 42,000 sq ft at Parc Bedwas, followed by a succession of expansions of a further 11,000 and then 47,000 sq ft, enabling us to centralise all of our operations at Parc Bedwas in a single 100,000 sq ft facility. The acquisitions were completed at the perfect time for tenant purposes and the rent fixed throughout the term at very economical rates. A job well done.

Bob James, Aerfin