Business Rates: Expanded Retail Relief

In 2018, the government announced that eligible retailers with a Rateable Value of less than £51,000 would receive a one third reduction in their Business Rates bills for the financial years 2019/20 and 2020/21.

To qualify properties had to be occupied, and be wholly or mainly used as a shop, restaurant, café or drinking establishment.

From 1st April 2020 this relief was also extended to live music venues and cinemas, and increased to 50% relief for the year 2020/21.

However, in response to coronavirus the level of relief was further increased to 100% for 2020/21 and there is no Rateable Value limit. More types of properties are now eligible for this relief, so you could qualify if the property is occupied and your business is a:

  • shop
  • restaurant, café, bar or pub
  • cinema or music venue
  • hospitality or leisure business - for example: a gym, spa, casino, hotel or self-catering accommodation

The property must be used wholly or mainly for one of these purposes by visiting members of the public. Relief cannot be awarded if the ratepayer is a 'precepting authority', this includes Adur & Worthing Councils, West Sussex County Council and parish councils.

Expanded Retail Relief for 2020/21 is not subject to state aid rules although awards for the period prior to 1st April 2020 are subject to them.

As part of the Budget on 3rd March 2021 the Chancellor announced that relief would continue for eligible properties:

  • at 100% from 1st April 2021 to 30th June 2021
  • at 66% from 1st July 2021 to 31st March 2022

The Government has subsequently announced that:

  • 50% relief will be awarded from 1st April 2022 to 31st March 2023
  • 75% relief will be awarded from 1st April 2023 to 31st March 2024

Businesses that have more than one property may be eligible for relief for each property subject to the cash caps explained below:

  • no cash cap will apply for the period from 1st April 2021 to 30th June 2021
  • from 1st July 2021 a business can only receive Expanded Retail Relief of up to:
    • £2 million in respect of a property that was required to close from 5th January 2021 due to the national coronavirus lockdown
    • £105,000 in respect of a property that was not required to close from 5th January 2021
    • from 1st April 2022 a cash cap of £110,000 applies

Where a business has more than one property, the cash cap limits that apply from 1st July 2021 and 1st April 2022 relate to the business rates bills for all their properties added together.

However, if a business occupies one or more properties that are subject to the 'closed cap' of £2 million (that applies from 1st July 2021 to 31st March 2022) and also has one or more other properties that are subject to the £105,000 cap, it can (subject to meeting the other eligibility criteria) separately be awarded relief for each of the two categories up to the respective cap limits.

For the purposes of the cash cap, where a ratepayer has a 'qualifying connection' with another ratepayer then both ratepayers are treated as one person. This means where

  • both ratepayers are companies and either one is a subsidiary of another, or both are subsidiaries of the same company
  • one ratepayer is a company and the other ratepayer has such an interest in that company as would, if the second ratepayer were a company, result in its being the holding company of the other

A business can choose to refuse Expanded Retail Relief for one of its properties at any time up to 30th April 2023, but once this has been done there is no subsequent right to withdraw the refusal.

If Expanded Retail Relief is shown on your Business Rates bill from 1st July 2021 onwards and you will exceed the £2 million, £105,000 or £110,000 cash cap, please contact the Revenues & Benefits Service immediately.

For more information about Expanded Retail Relief please see:

Apply for Expanded Retail Relief

This relief will be applied to eligible accounts. If it has been awarded to you, it will be shown as a reduction on your bill.

If you haven't been awarded the relief and believe you qualify for it, please complete and return this form:

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Page last updated: 16 October 2023

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