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Budget 2021: Will the Extension of the Business Rates Relief Holiday Help Our High Street and Hospitality Sector?

1 April 2021

Property Business Rates are a significant outgoing for any business that occupies a commercial property. Business Rates are payable not only for commercial properties that are occupied but also for vacant commercial properties.

Covid-19: Hard Hit Businesses

During the last 12 months, many businesses have been hard hit, none more so than “non-essential” retail businesses including pubs, restaurants and gyms which have been required to close under Covid-19 legislation.

Many businesses have struggled to keep up with various outgoings; for example, payment of rent and payment of service charge. In order to assist businesses in staying afloat, the Government implemented numerous initiatives including a year-long Business Rates holiday which has no doubt assisted the cash flow of affected businesses.

Business Rates Holiday

A Business Rates holiday has meant that during the last 12 months any qualifying business will not have paid any Business Rates. Businesses that were considered “essential” businesses such as supermarkets were also permitted to take advantage of the Business Rates holiday.

Despite this, some of our biggest supermarkets (including Tescos, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons) have now said that they intend to reimburse the Treasury for the Business Rates relief received last year.

Holiday Extension

In the Budget announced on 3 March 2021, the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, extended the Business Rates holiday which was due to end on 31 March 2021, meaning that it will now continue until the end of June 2021.

While none of this is a panacea for businesses, given what has happened over the last 12 months, it certainly goes some way to helping our non-essential retail businesses on the High Street and businesses in our Hospitality sector.

Our High Street and Hospitality Sector are long-held dynamic and much-loved areas of business in the UK and no doubt we all hope that both will eventually recover to full success in whatever guise that success happens to be.

This article is provided by Burlingtons for general information only. It is not intended to be and cannot be relied upon as legal advice or otherwise. If you would like to discuss any of the matters covered in this article, please contact Caroline Turner or contact us using the contact form below.

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