To help businesses get back on their feet after the pandemic, the Government is offering eligible companies a 50% discount on their business rates bills, under what’s known as the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme. The relief will automatically apply to eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry in the tax year 2022/23.
In this guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about business rates relief in 2022/23.
- Business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure
- Why is the government offering a relief scheme for these businesses?
- Who does the retail, hospitality and leisure scheme apply to?
- Which businesses are not eligible for the business rates relief?
- Ensure your eligible business is making the most of business rates relief
Business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure
The 2022/23 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme provides eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry with a 50% discount on business rates, up to a total value of £110,000. In some cases, you’ll be able to get this discount on top of other business rate reliefs you’re eligible for.
Why is the government offering a relief scheme for these businesses?
In 2020, to help businesses cope with profit losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government introduced Extended Retail Discounts, offering businesses a 100% discount on their business rates bills. The scheme was extended the following year, reducing to a 66% discount from 1 July 2021.
In his mission to kickstart the economy, then-Chancellor Rishi Sunak replaced Extended Retail Discounts with the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme, which is automatically applied to eligible businesses in the tax year 2022/23. The scheme is designed to offer continued support to businesses as they regain their footing after the pandemic.
Below is a table of the various retail relief rates offered since 2020.
|Dates||Percentage of relief offered to businesses|
|2020/2021||100% up to a total value of £2m for closed businesses and £105,000 for open businesses|
|2021/2022 (Until 30 June)||100% up to a total value of £2m for closed businesses and £105,000 for open businesses|
|2021/2022 (From 1 July)||66% up to a total value of £2m for closed businesses and £105,000 for open businesses|
|2022/2023||50% up to a total value of £110,000 per business|
Who does the retail, hospitality and leisure scheme apply to?
Some companies are already exempt from business rates due to a separate Small Business Rate Relief scheme. Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses that don’t qualify for Small Business Rate Relief will automatically receive a 50% business rates discount, providing they meet the relevant criteria.
Businesses that can access the scheme include:
- Pubs and restaurants
- Theatres and cinemas
- Music venues
- Sports clubs
- Village halls and bingo halls
- Hair and beauty services
- Hotels and boarding premises
A full list of eligible properties can be found in Part 2 of the Government’s Local Authority Guidance.
Which businesses are not eligible for the business rates relief?
Although most businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry are eligible for the discount, the Government has outlined a list of businesses that it doesn’t consider eligible. These include:
- Financial services (banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, betting shops, short-term loan providers)
- Medical services (doctors, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
- Professional services (accountants, solicitors, insurance agents, financial advisers, employment agencies, estate agents, letting agents)
- Post office sorting offices
Businesses that have exceeded the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit
The relief scheme is subject to the subsidies chapter within the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which applies to any subsidy exceeding £343,000 per business over a three-year period. This means that to qualify for the relief scheme, you must not have exceeded the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit of £343,000 over the last three years – which includes the current financial year and the previous two financial years.
This limit includes any COVID business grants from local councils, as well as any other subsidy claimed. However, it does not include any Extended Retail Discounts that have been granted in 2020/21 or 2021/22.
Businesses outside the retail, hospitality and leisure industry
As the name of the scheme suggests, only businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure industry are applicable for the discount. But don’t worry – there is a range of other rate reliefs available to businesses, including reliefs for small, rural or charitable businesses.
Ensure your eligible business is making the most of business rates relief
With businesses across the country benefiting from relief schemes, it’s important to think about how you can make the most of these discounts. From boosting efficiency and maximising profitability to streamlining your admin tasks, the right tech will help you supercharge your growth in 2022.
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