Support for businesses affected by coronavirus
The Government has made support available to help businesses affected by the coronavirus. This will last for 12 months. Support is available in the form of Business Rates and grants.
As of 18 May, we have paid business grants to 1,448 businesses totalling more than £16.4million. We still have some to process and are working through them as fast as we can. Please check your bank account to see if the money has arrived.
How to register for grant support
Please fill in our online registration form. We will need all the information requested. This includes your bank account details as in most cases we will not hold current details for you. Please fill in the form carefully and accurately to avoid delay.
If you own more than one business, or have multiple and separately rated premises, and believe you may be entitled to multiple grants please make sure you fill in one registration form for each business.
You can find more information about grant support below.
Small Business Grant
Small businesses with a rateable value of under £15,000 and in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief are eligible for a grant of £10,000.
To qualify for the grant, businesses must have been liable for the business rates on their property on 11 March 2020 and be in receipt of small business rate relief.
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant
Properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of up to £51,000 qualify for a cash grant of either £10,000 or £25,000. This is subject to state aid limits.
Qualifying criteria for grant support
To qualify for a grant, businesses must have been liable for the business rates on their property on 11 March 2020 and have an entitlement to Expanded Retail Discount. As Expanded Retail Discount doesn’t begin until 1 April 2020, eligibility will be decided based on whether a property would have qualified for the discount had the scheme been in place on 11 March 2020.
Businesses that qualify under the scheme with a rateable value of up to £15,000 will be eligible for a grant of £10,000 and businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £50,999 will be eligible for a grant of £25,000.
There is one grant payable per property.
The following will not be eligible for grant support:
- Properties occupied for personal use, including but not limited to beach huts, private stables and loose boxes and moorings
- Car parks and parking spaces
- Businesses that were dissolved or in liquidation on 11 March 2020 will not be eligible for either grant.
If the Valuation Office Agency makes any changes to the Rating List for your property after the 11 March 2020 or a change is backdated to include 11 March 2020, you will not be eligible for the grant. However, if the Rating List is amended after receiving your grant, meaning you are no longer eligible for it, we will not recover the grant from you.
If we know that the Rating List is incorrect on 11 March 2020, we can withhold payment of the grant or we can choose to pay it to the person that would have received it if the list had been accurate.
To receive this funding, you must show on our records as the ratepayer of the property on 11 March 2020. If we believe our records might be incorrect, we can withhold payment of the grant until reasonable steps have been taken to confirm the identity of the correct ratepayer.
Any grant that is paid to an incorrect ratepayer will be recovered if it is found they were not the liable person for business rates on 11 March 2020. Landlords and Managing Agents are asked to help us make sure we have the correct ratepayers’ details.
Payment of the grant is subject to state aid limits. If you request a grant and you have already received elements of state aid in this or the last three financial years that could put you over the temporary €800,000 limit, you will need to complete a state aid declaration before we can pay any grant.
If we suspect you may be over that limit, or if any grant paid will take you over that limit, we may request you complete a state aid declaration.
The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back.
Business Rates discounts
There are two main changes that will affect your Business Rates Bills in 2020/21.
Expanded Retail discount
A 100% Business Rates Retail Discount will be applied to all occupied retail, leisure and hospitality businesses for the year 2020/21. There will be no rateable value limit on the relief.
Pubs with a rateable value of between £51,000 and £100,000 will get a discount of £5,000.
Changes to accounts
Changes to accounts will be made after March 2020 once we have more information from the Government.
Business Rates bills for 2020/21 have already been sent out. If these changes apply to you then we will send you a new bill as soon as possible.
If these changes do not apply to you then your account is correct. You should make payment as shown on your bill.
Business Rates discount for nurseries
As an extraordinary response to the coronavirus, the Government announced a business rates Nursery Discount on 18 March 2020.
This relief will apply to hereditaments occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register and are wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage and which are subject to business rates in the year 2020/21. There will be no rateable value limit on the relief.
Advice and support
Our Business Advice and Support page has more information on other types of financial help available.
Business Rates will not be payable for the first three months that a property is empty. After the three month period rates will be charged at 100% unless the property is exempt e.g. Listed buildings, empty properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs. NB. Industrial property will be exempt for 6 months, or has a rateable value of less than the following limits:
- Up to 31 March 2009 RV 2,200
- 01 April 2009 - 31 March 2010 RV 15,000
- 01 April 2010 - 31 March 2011 RV 18,000
- 01 April 2011 - 31 March 2017 RV 2,600
- From 01 April 2017 RV 2,900
Please note - due to the lowering of the Rateable Value limit from 18,000 to 2,600 with effect from 01 April 2011, you may now be subject to an empty business rate charge.
In brief, office and retail premises receive 100% relief for the first three months, and industrial and warehouse premises will receive 100% for the first six months, from when the property becomes empty.
All rate relief for these properties will end after this time and Non Domestic Rates will be chargeable in full. You can find more information about business rates at the My Business Rates website.
Partially Empty Property
If only part of the premises is being used, it may be possible to reduce the amount of business rates that are paid. If you wish to claim this relief you should contact us immediately, and we will arrange for one of our Visiting Officers to visit your premises. The relief would stop if:
- The unoccupied part becomes occupied
- The property becomes completely unoccupied
Small Business Rate Relief
From 1 April 2017 Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) will permanently double from 50% to 100%. The £6,000 and £12,000 thresholds will increase to £12,000 and £15,000 respectively.
Therefore, those with rateable values below £12,000 that meet the eligibility criteria will receive 100% relief. This relief will decrease on a sliding scale if your rateable value is between £12,000 and £15,000.
The threshold for the standard business rates multiplier will also increase from £18,000 (£25,500 in London) to a rateable value of £51,000. This means that if the rateable value is between £15,001 and £51,000 the bill will be calculated using the small business non domestic rating multiplier if appropriate.
If a property has a rateable value of less than £18,000 from 1 April 2010 you may qualify for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR). To qualify for SBRR the ratepayer must:
- Occupy only one property, or
- Occupy one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have rateable values less than £2,900.
Please note: You are only eligible to claim Small Business Rate Relief on ONE property regardless of how many properties you occupy. The rateable value of a single property or the aggregate total value of all the properties must be less than £20,000 (or £28,000 within Greater London). Ratepayers can only claim relief in respect of one property. However, you may now continue to receive SBRR for a period of 12 months further to occupying another property.
The Scheme prior to 1 October 2010 - Eligible properties with a rateable value of less than £6,000 will receive 50% relief. This relief will decrease on a sliding scale of 1% for every £120 in rateable value over £6,000 and up to £12,000, at which point no relief is applicable. In addition, eligible properties will have their rate bill calculated on the small business non-domestic rating multiplier.
Changes from October 2010 - 31 March 2017 - The Government has temporarily changed the scheme so that businesses who qualify and whose rateable value is less than £6,000 will get 100% relief. This will decrease on a sliding scale if your rateable value is between £6,000 to £12,000. If the rateable value is between £12,001 and £17,999 the bill will be calculated using a lower multiplier than non-qualifying businesses.
Businesses must apply in writing and there are time limits on how long you have to apply so please don't delay - apply as soon as you can. You can get further information on Small Business Rate Relief and do a trial calculation by visiting the My Business Rates website.
Please note: If your business qualifies for Mandatory Charity Relief you cannot get SBRR as well.
Rural Rate Relief
Businesses in a Rural Settlement could qualify for Mandatory or Discretionary Rural Rate Relief on their Non Domestic Rates bill. A Rural Settlement is a defined area with a population of less than 3000.
To qualify for Mandatory Relief, the business premises must be the only Post Office, general store, public house or petrol filling station in the rural settlement. Food shops may also qualify for relief and do not need to be the only food shop in the rural settlement.
In addition to Mandatory Relief for those businesses mentioned above, we are able to grant Discretionary Relief. Other types of businesses in a rural settlement may also qualify for just the Discretionary Relief.
In all cases, the business must be used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community. A list of the areas that are designated Rural Settlements is available on our website or at our shops at Malvern, Tenbury Wells and Upton.
Mandatory Rural Rate Relief: To qualify for 100% Mandatory Rural Rate Relief, your business premises must:
1. Be within the boundaries of a qualifying rural settlement.
2. Have a rateable value of not more than £8,500 in the case of a Post Office, general store or food shop.
3. Have a rateable value of not more than £12,500 in the case of a public house or petrol filling station.
4. Be used in whole or in part, as a general store, Post Office or both, or as a public house, food shop or petrol filling station.
5. Be either the only general store, the only Post Office, the only public house or the only petrol filling station in the rural settlement.
Please note: it is possible for both a general store and a Post Office in the same rural settlement to qualify for Mandatory Rural Rate Relief.
Please note: if you do not qualify for Mandatory Relief, you may still qualify for Discretionary Relief dependent on meeting certain criteria.
Discretionary Rural Rate Relief: We may grant up to 50% relief to any general store, food shop, Post Office, public house or petrol filling station which does not qualify for the Mandatory Rural Rate Relief.
Other types of business can also apply for Discretionary Rural Rate Relief of 50% provided that it:
1. Is within the boundaries of a qualifying rural settlement.
2. Has a rateable value of less than £16,500.
3. Is used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community, and
4. Is reasonable for us to make such a decision having regard to the interests of persons liable to pay Council Tax set by it. To download an application form click on one of the links below:
Charitable and Discretionary Relief
Registered charities, charitable organisations and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC's) are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property, that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.
Relief is given at 80 per cent of the bill. We have the discretion to give a further 20% relief on the remaining bill depending upon what the premises are used for.
We also have the discretion to give up to 100% discretionary relief on all or part of any rate bill, for property occupied by certain non-profit making organisations for example; sports clubs, societies, village halls and youth associations.
If you wish to apply please contact us or use our Mandatory and Discretionary Rate Relief application form. You can get further information on Rate Relief by visiting the My Business Rates website.
In the 2017 Spring Budget the Chancellor announced that the government would make available a discretionary fund of £300 million over a four year period to local authorities in England, to design and implement a discretionary scheme to support those businesses most affected by the recent revaluation. A breakdown of the £300 million funding and Malvern Hills District Council’s Share is as follows:
Malvern Hills District Council’s Allocation
Businesses may be entitled to a reduction from rates if they are suffering hardship, and they can show that the local community would suffer a loss if the business was to close. As each case needs to be determined on its merits, please contact us for further information.
Public House (pub) relief
Occupied public houses with a rateable value of less than £100,000 may be eligible for up to £1,000 relief on their business rates bill for 2020-21. If you qualify, the pub relief will be taken off your bill after all other reliefs.
To qualify, the public house needs to:
- have a rateable value of less than £100,000
- be open to the general public
- allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided
- allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed
- permit drinks to be purchased at a bar
This doesn't include:
- snack bars
- boarding houses
- sporting venues
- music venues
- festival sites
- exhibition halls
- concert halls
Office space occupied by local newspapers can get a discount of up to £1,500 per year until 31 March 2025.
Newspaper relief can be claimed up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per property and up to state aid limits.
Don't forget: if you move into, out of, or within Malvern Hills you need to let us know as this will affect your bill. You can also find further information about Business Rates on the Businesslink website.