News story

Business rates: help for businesses

Measures announced at the Spring Budget 2017 will help companies in England facing the steepest increases in business rates.

Business rates: Help for businesses

The business rates revaluation took effect on 1 April 2017.

The government is regularly required to update the ‘rateable values’ of business properties in England to make sure they are paying the right amount of rates.

Alongside this we’ve introduced the biggest ever cut in business rates – an £8.9 billion package over the next 5 years.

This is about making business rates fairer

The government will not benefit financially from the revaluation – it is a revenue-neutral process.

The majority of businesses have seen no change or a fall in their business rates from 1 April 2017 through the revaluation.

As part of the £8.9 billion package of business rates cuts over the next five years, we’ve permanently doubled small business rates relief.

Eligible properties with a rateable value of £12,000 and below will receive 100% relief.

Eligible properties with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 will also benefit from tapered business rates relief. This will give these businesses significant reductions on their business rates bills.

Overall, this means 600,000 businesses now pay no business rates at all.

Support for those businesses facing increases

In the Spring Budget 2017, the Chancellor confirmed an additional £435 million package of support to help businesses in England, including those facing the steepest increases in business rates following the revaluation.

This includes:

  • £110 million to support around 16,000 small businesses losing Small Business Rate Relief or rural rate relief. This means none of these businesses will face an increase in 2017/18 of greater than £600 a year or £50 a month;

  • a £300 million discretionary fund to councils to support individual hard cases in their local area; and

  • a £1,000 business rates discount for pubs who have a rateable value of less than £100,000 for 1 year for April 2017

Further details on these measures will be confirmed in due course. Local authorities then will be able to let businesses know whether they can benefit from any of these additional measures and will apply any of them on bills retrospectively.

This is on top of a £3.6 billion package of transitional relief to help with the revaluation. This supports ratepayers by capping and phasing in any rise in bills.

Alongside the revaluation, business rates are updated every year in line with inflation. From April 2020 business rates will switch from being linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the main measure of inflation, currently the Consumer Price Index (CPI), saving businesses around £1.1 billion over the first 2 years.

Further information

To see if you are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief, contact your local council.

Published 1 April 2017