COVID-19 : Business rates

We will be updating this page as soon as we are notified of any government announcements in order to assist businesses with the effects of the current Coronavirus outbreak.

This information is designed to assist businesses to understand the effect of these announcements and how these will be applied to eligible ratepayers.

New National Restrictions from Thursday 5 November 2020

Please note that we are now accepting applications for the Local Restriction Support Grants (Closed) Addendum scheme, also referred to as the National Lock-Down grant.

National Lock-down Grant Scheme

The government have announced a business grant scheme to cover the four week national lock down period.

The scheme will cover businesses occupying properties subject to business rates, that have been mandated to close by Central Government (see list below). The level of grant is dependent on the rateable value of the relevant property:

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less will receive £1,334 for the 4 week period. 
  • Properties with a rateable value over £15,000 but less than £51,000 will receive £2,000 for the four week period.
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over £3,000 for the 4 week period.

The grant is to be paid to the ratepayer of the property.

Grants are not available to businesses:

  • that are able to continue to trade, because they do not depend on providing direct in-person services from premises and can operate their services effectively remotely (e.g. accountants, solicitors), 
  • that have chosen to close but have not been instructed to,
  • that are in administration, insolvent or subject to a striking-off notice.

Check the list of businesses and venues which must close on GOV.UK website

How to Apply

Before you start your application, you will need to ensure that you have the following information to upload onto your application form:  

  • Details of your property code/reference number. This must be as per your Business Rates Bill. Please do not use the reference from the Valuation Office Agency website as these numbers are slightly different and you will not be able to proceed. 
  • Identification of the rate payer : Upload either your passport ID page or driving licence. 
  • Evidence of business trading from Wednesday 4 November 2020 : Upload either a delivery note, expenses receipt, purchase order or sales receipt.
  • Evidence the claimant is named holder of the bank account : Upload a bank statement dated within the last three months.
  • Evidence of the company occupying the property from Wednesday 4 November 2020 : Upload two different utility bills, dated within the last three months, such as:
    • electricity bill 
    • gas bill
    • landline bill  
    • water bill

To make your application go to the Grants approval website and select the ‘Grants For Businesses’ option.

When you will hear from us 

We aim to process your application within five working days. If your application is approved your grant payment will be paid into your bank account within a further four working days. If you have any questions about the national restrictions grant you can email us at: businessgrants@rbwm.gov.uk.

Additional Restrictions Grant - Discretionary Scheme

In addition to the above national scheme, the Government have also announced an Additional Restrictions Grant which is a largely Discretionary scheme. This scheme will run from Thursday 5 November 2020 to 05.11.20 to Wednesday 31 March 2022. We are currently developing a Discretionary Policy and application process, both of which will be posted here as soon as they become available.

Please do not call or e-mail us requesting assistance at this time as this will simply delay our ability to finalise details. Instead, please continue to regularly check this website which will be updated as more information is made available. 

Details about various forms of support available and details of guidance received to date can be found on GOV.UK.

Expanded Retail Discount

The government announced that Retail Relief Discount would increase from 50% to 100% and to more areas of business for 2020/21.

To qualify for this relief, the premises must be occupied but will count as occupied if you would normally be open but have only chosen to close as a result of the current Coronavirus outbreak.

See the government guidance on the new scheme for more information.

We have automatically identified the businesses which qualify for the Expanded Retail Relief and revised bills should reach those eligible businesses during the week commencing Monday 30 March 2020. Approximately £29m has been awarded to 1,020 businesses.

If you believe that your business should qualify, but have not received a revised bill by the time that your May instalment is due, please email : business.rates@rbwm.gov.uk.

The types of businesses which do not qualify for the expanded scheme include:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, betting shops and payday lenders).
  • Medical services (e.g. dentists, doctors, chiropractors, vets).
  • Professional services (e.g. accountants, solicitors, insurance agents, tutors).
  • Post office sorting offices.
  • Those premises not readily accessible to the public.

The new relief can be awarded for each eligible business property. This will be taken into account when we awarded the new relief.

Nursery Discount

The government announced on Wednesday 18 March 2020 that it would provide a business rates Nursery Discount.

This relief will apply to properties occupied by providers of Ofsted’s Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of Early Years Foundation Stage.

It will apply irrespective of the Rateable Value of the premises and will be for 100% of the remaining bill after the application of any other qualifying reliefs.

Properties where the council itself is liable for the business rates will be unable to qualify for this assistance.

We are in the process of checking the Ofsted register to automatically identify qualifying ratepayers and award this relief. You do not need to apply for this.

State aid information

Many of the business rate reliefs will come under the rules regarding state aid. State Aid law is the means by which the European Union regulates state funded support to businesses. EC 1407/2013, the De Minimis regulations, allow an undertaking to receive up to €800,000 De Minimis aid over a rolling three year period, including aid received outside of business rates relief.

Any De Minimis aid granted during the current or the two previous financial years must be declared. However, the government are working on obtaining approval from the EU to ignore the de minimis level for the expanded retail relief. We will update this information as and when we know more. 

Further information can also be obtained via the GOV.UK website.

Business Rate Grants

Please note that, in accordance with the requirement from Central Government, the Business Rate Grant Schemes for those in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief or Expanded Retail Relief closed on Friday 28 August 2020. No new applications may now be made.

Discretionary Grant Scheme

Please note that, in accordance with the requirement from Central Government, the Discretionary Business Grant scheme closed on Friday 28 August 2020. No new applications may now be made.

Business rates : Contact details

For further information, please contact us by:

Business Rates - Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
PO BOX 3448
Town Hall, St Ives Road
Maidenhead SL6 1NG