The Council is urgently updating its business rates collection practices in response to COVID-19. The Government has also announced that it would provide additional business rate support to some small businesses.
Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors, with a rateable value of less than £51,000 (and hence a bill of up to £26,112) will pay no business rates during the coming year as relief of 100% will be granted. The measure includes shops, cinemas, restaurants, museums art galleries, theatres, gyms, small hotels, sport clubs and night clubs. This is expected to benefit over 1,550 businesses in Newham. The Council will identify eligible businesses and automatically apply the relief and issue adjusted bills, as quickly as the software suppliers can make the necessary changes. Whilst the Council awaits these changes, we are actively cancelling direct debits for those businesses that will qualify, so as to avoid further financial impact.
The business rate discount for pubs will be increased to £5,000, up from £1,000. Pubs that are eligible for this additional relief will have their bills updated and resent. This will benefit up to 63 pubs in Newham. Again, we will avoid taking direct debits for these businesses until the bills have been updated and resent to help with your cash flow.
Any company eligible for small business rates relief will be allowed a cash grant. It is not yet clear when or how businesses will access the grant, as the Council are still awaiting the details from Central Government. This could benefit up to 2,550 businesses in Newham and we will draw up a scheme as quickly as possible.
The Council’s business rates team will also be moderating recovery action whilst the current situation persists, and are on hand to deal with any enquiries from businesses.
We know that this unprecedented situation is very difficult so please get in touch if you need any further clarity or if you wish to discuss your account on 0208 430 3250 or firstname.lastname@example.org