ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Cash grants for businesses receiving small business rate relief - coronavirus

24 March 2020: There are cash grants available for businesses receiving Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

OFFICIAL GUIDANCE:  Small Business Grant Funding 

Key features of the scheme

  • Cash grants of £10,000 will be paid to businesses receiving Small Business Rate Relief (Small Business Bonus Scheme in Scotland) including taper relief or Rural Rate Relief.
  • Businesses have to occupy property to qualify.

Eligibility and additional features

  • Grants will be paid automatically by local authorities. Businesses will not need to apply for them (except in Scotland).
  • Each individual "hereditament" is eligible for the holiday and cash grant. Businesses with multiple premises will qualify for each of their hereditaments that meets the above criteria.
  • Decisions about granting reliefs will be taken by local authorities, following government guidance.
  • Eligibility is based on rateable values recorded on the rating list at 11 March 2020. Subsequent changes to the rating list will be disregarded. However, where it was "factually clear" that the rating list was "inaccurate" then local authorities have the discretion to award (or withhold) the cash grant. It is not clear how inaccuracies are expected to be evidenced, but it seems this is intended to be limited to "manifest errors of fact rather than matters of valuation judgment.
  • Premises which have closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID-19 will be treated as occupied for the purposes of this relief.
  • Cash grants will be sent to the person named as the ratepayer in the local authority’s records on 11 March 2020. Landlords and managing agents are encouraged to help identify the ratepayer for properties they manage. Funds received by third parties can be recovered if that person was not the ratepayer on 11 March 2020.
  • Business rates are a devolved tax and different rules can apply in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The eligibility criteria above are based on the guidance for England and may apply differently elsewhere in the UK. However, all UK administrations are offering a cash grant of £10,000. Different thresholds apply for the cash grant schemes:
  £10,000 cash grant
Rateable value / net annual value 
England  £0 - £15,000
Wales  £0 - £12,000
Northern Ireland  £0 - £14,999
Scotland  £0 - £18,000

Additional information

  • Businesses should contact their local authority with any questions they may have about the scheme.
  • Government guidance on the grant schemes is available here.