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HELP WITH COMMERCIAL RENTS AND BUSINESS RATES

    EXTRA HELP AVAILABLE FOR SMALL AND PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE BUSINESSES

    If you have any questions, please get in touch with our COVID-19 Task Force here


    Relevant as of 1:00pm 5 March 2021
    Rent

    The Government has taken steps to support commercial tenants who remain concerned about eviction from their business premises. We know this will be a particular concern for businesses who have been told to close by the government.

    Commercial tenants who cannot pay their rent because of coronavirus are now protected from eviction.  The measures mean no business will be forced out of their premises if they miss a payment. This measure was extended to September 2020, so landlords are now able to progress claims through the courts.

    Landlords and investors were asked to work collaboratively with tenants to find a solution through the pandemic. Despite this, there have been widespread reports of some landlords putting tenants under pressure by using alternative debt recovery tactics.

    To address this, the Government has announced that it will introduce temporary measures to:

    • Ban the use of statutory demands and winding up orders where a company cannot pay their rent due to coronavirus
    • Prevent landlords using the Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery process unless they are owed 90 days of unpaid rent.

    You can read more information about this here.

    Rates

    There are other ways the government is helping out businesses with financial support that they won’t need to repay.

    At the Budget 2021 it was announced that as well as the business rates holiday for 2020/21, eligible businesses with properties in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will be entitled to 100% business rates relief from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021, and 66% business rates relief for the period from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022.

    Relief is capped at £2 million per business for properties if they were required to be closed on 5 January 2021, or £105,000 per business for other eligible properties.

    Grants

    Restart Grants

    Also announced at the 2021 Budget, restart grants will be available as follows:

    • Up to £18,000 per premises for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, personal care and gym businesses; or
    • Up to £6,000 per premises in all other cases.

    In addition, the Government will be providing local authorities in England with an additional £425 million of discretionary business grant funding.

    Contact your local council about access to these grants.

    Previous grants that were available before the Budget are detailed below. It is worth checking with your Local Authority that your business has claimed everything it is entitled to have claimed.

    Top Up Grants

    Following the announcement of a third National lockdown on 4 January, the Chancellor announced that £4.6 billion is being made available to pay “top up grants” to businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

    The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:

    • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
    • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
    • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

    You can read more information here.

    Other Funding for Businesses

    Local Authorities and the Devolved Administrations will receive an additional £594 million, which they can use to support businesses not eligible for other grants mentioned above or below. Get in touch with your Local Authority to see how you may be eligible to receive some of this money.

    The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) was made available in November. You can read more about the ARG here.

    For businesses in the same industries mentioned above, grants were available as follows:

    • £25,000 per property with a rateable value between £15,001 and £51,000
    • £10,000 per property with a rateable value of under £15,000

    In addition, businesses in any industry that pay little or no business rates could also be given a grant of £10,000. This applies to businesses already claiming small business rate relief, rural rate relief or tapered relief.

    Separate to this, businesses required to close for at least 3 weeks from 9 September due to local restrictions, may be eligible for further support. Grants of £1,000 or £1,500 depending on the rateable value of the property, could be available per 3-week period of closure. All of these grants are taxable.

    What if I run a children’s nursery?

    Properties that are occupied by providers of Ofsted’s Early Years Registration or are wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage will get a business rates holiday for the 2020/21 tax year and the extended relief for 2021/22 mentioned above.  Again, if you qualify this will be applied automatically by your local authority so there is nothing you need to do to get this help.

    You can estimate what this will save you by using the Government’s business rates calculator.

    And don’t forget….

    The above measures are in addition to those that have already been announced, which includes:

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