In announcing the budget on Wednesday, the Chancellor said he is scrapping business rates for small firms to help them deal with disruption caused by the coronavirus. The measure, announced in the first budget since October 2018, will see a 100 per cent retail discount apply to all business properties.
“Our manifesto promised that for shops, cinemas, restaurants and music venues with a rateable value of less than £51,000 we would increase their business rates retail discount to 50 per cent,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak.
“Today I can go further and take the exceptional step for this coming year of abolishing their business rates altogether.”
Mr Sunak also scrapped the tax for 2020-21 for tens of thousands of other businesses in the leisure and hospitality sectors, previously not covered by the policy, including museums, art galleries and theatres; caravan parks and gyms; small hotels; sports clubs; night clubs; club houses and guest houses.
“That is a tax cut worth over £1 billion, saving each business up to £25,000,” he added.
“And it means, over the next 12 months, nearly half of all business properties in England will not pay a penny of business rates.”
Moreover, he announced the launch of a fundamental review, to be concluded at the autumn budget, into the long-term future of business rates.
Going a step further, Mr Sunak announced a £3,000 cash grant per business to any business currently eligible for the small business rates relief.
This, he explained, is a £2 billion cash injection direct to 700,000 of the UK’s smallest businesses.