Retail, hospitality and tourism support measures
For businesses who pay business rates:
A business rates retail holiday has been introduced for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year.
Businesses that received the retail discount in the 2019 to 2020 tax year will be re-billed by their local authority as soon as possible.
Your business must be based in England and your business must be in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector. Specifically, your property must be wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues, for assembly and leisure or as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation. Bingo halls have now also been included.
How to access
You do not have to take any action to benefit from this measure as it will be applied to your next council tax bill in April 2020. However, local authorities may have to reissue your bill automatically to exclude the business rate charge. They will do this as soon as possible.
An estimate of the charge you will no longer have to pay can be found here.
Guidance for local authorities on the business rates holiday has been published and can be found here.
Any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the reliefs and grants (see below) should be directed to the relevant local authority.
The Retail and Hospitality Grant Scheme provides businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property.
- For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of under £15,000, they will receive a grant of £10,000.
- For businesses in these sectors with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they will receive a grant of £25,000.
Please ensure that your local authority has the required details to make payments to you. If not, we are seeing that local authorities are issuing forms to provide this information to ensure that swift payments are made.
Your business must be based in England and is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector. This includes properties that are wholly or mainly used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues as well as those being used as hotels and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.
Businesses which are not ratepayers in the business rates system are not included in this scheme.
How to access
You do not need to do anything, other than ensure your local authority has the information required to make payment to you.
If the cash flow need is urgent, it would be advisable to contact your bank to see if a short-term arrangement can be reached until the funding is received.
On 1 April the Government announced that grants had started to be paid into the bank accounts of high street businesses.
Enforced closure of businesses and other venues:
Businesses who do not follow COVID-19 restrictions will be issued with prohibition notices, and those who fail to comply will receive fines and could also face the loss of their alcohol license.
There will be no upper limit to the fines of businesses who continue to ignore restrictions.
Local governments will be responsible for enforcing regulations requiring those businesses to close on 20 March 2020.
Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers, with support from the police if appropriate will work together to issues prohibition notices where restrictions are not followed.
The full guidance is available here.
The charges paid by airlines for air navigation services while flying through European airspace can now be deferred for up to 14 months which could save UK airlines tens of millions of pounds a month.
The Government continues to work closely with the aviation sector to support airlines affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Destination Management Organisations (DMOs):
The Tourism Minister launched a £1.3m fund to support DMOs. The funding has provided immediate financial support to DMOs who are at severe risk of closure due to the pandemic.
The funding is available to any DMO which usually receives at least 50% of its income from commercial sources.
Further details can be found here.
The information herein is general in nature and does not constitute professional advice. For professional advice and guidance, contact our team or your usual Duncan & Toplis adviser.