The year-long business rates holiday in England has been extended for another three months, until the end of June 2021.

Eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will then pay a third of their normal charge for the rest of the financial year. A maximum discount of £2 million is available to non-essential retail firms that were forced to close on 5 January 2021 due to lockdown restrictions. Other eligible properties can get a discount of up to £105,000 per business. The Treasury expects to see “the vast majority of eligible businesses receiving 75% relief” from business rates in 2021/22.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the British Retail Consortium, said: “The three-month extension will provide essential funding at this challenging time.
“Beyond this point, relief is capped at only £2m for closed businesses – a tiny fraction of their total liability.
“Without more funding, it is likely that many non-essential retailers will struggle under sluggish consumer demand and high COVID-19 costs.”

Meanwhile, a fundamental review into the business rates system in England – announced in Budget 2020 – is due to be published in the autumn.
Dickinson added:
“The business rates system remains broken and it is vital that the ongoing business rates review delivers on its promise to reduce the burden on retail, which already results in store closures and job losses.”

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