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Supporting Small Businesses Relief

Some ratepayers may have lost their entitlement to small business rate relief following revaluation on 1 April 2017. Find out what you can do about this.

Following the revaluation of rateable values that took effect on 1 April 2017, some ratepayers previously in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief may have lost entitlement to relief due to the rateable value thresholds involved. 
In the Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced that a new scheme of relief would be made available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of small business or rural rate relief due to the revaluation.


We are granting Discretionary Rate Relief under S47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 in accordance with the criteria set out in the DCLG Business Supporting Small Businesses - Guidance June 2017 document (Annex A BRIL 4/2017) see  Gov.UK's Spring Budget Update on the publications web page.


To be eligible, ratepayers must meet all the criteria:

1. On 31 March 2017 ratepayers must have been in receipt of either Small Business Rate Relief, or Rural Rate Relief.

2. On 1 April 2017 ratepayers must have lost some or all of their small business or rural rate relief because of the 2017 revaluation, and as a result the chargeable amount for 1 April 2017 is more than (£600/365) higher than the chargeable amount for 31 March 2017 (calculated before any Section 47 discretionary relief entitlement). 
Eligibility ceases when the:

  • liability for a day calculated without Supporting Small Businesses Relief is the same as, or less than, the calculation with the relief.

  • ratepayer is a charity or Community Amateur Sports Club.

  • property is unoccupied. 

 Once lost, eligibility cannot be reinstated. 
A change of ratepayers does not affect eligibility for the Supporting Small Businesses Relief scheme. 
There is no second property test for eligibility for the Supporting Small Businesses Relief scheme. However, those ratepayers who during 2016/17 lost entitlement to small business rate relief because they failed the second property test but have, under the rules for small business rate relief, been given a 12 month period of grace before their relief ended, can continue on the scheme for the remainder of their 12 month period of grace.

How we calculate the relief

We will calculate the relief after any entitlement to Transition, Section 44 A, Small Business Rate Relief and Rural Rate Relief.  

We will apply any other relief after Supporting Small Businesses Relief.

Supporting Small Businesses Relief is available for 2017/18 to 2021/22 only, and is subject to State Aid de minimis limits (see next section). 
The increase per year for eligible ratepayers is the greater of a specified percentage plus inflation or £600 per year. 
Specified percentages are: 

YearSpecified percentage
2017/185 per cent
2018/197.5 per cent
2019/2010 per cent
 2020/2115 per cent
2021/2215 per cent

Ratepayers on the Supporting Small Businesses Relief scheme whose 2017 rateable values are £51,000 or more, will not be liable to pay the supplement to fund small business rate relief while they are eligible for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme. 
Ratepayers remain in the Supporting Small Businesses Relief scheme for five years or until they reach the bill they would have paid without the scheme.   
If there is a change of circumstances at any time, we will recalculate the relief. The change of circumstances could arise during the year in question or during a later year, for example, a backdated change to the rateable value.   
Separate rules apply where there is a change in rateable value. Please telephone us for further details if you think these will apply. In simplified terms, if your rateable value increases after 1 April 2017, you will pay the increased charge resulting from that change.

State Aid

Discretionary relief is subject to state aid rules. You must declare either that your enterprise has received no state aid, or provide details of any such assistance. If the state aid limit is exceeded, any overpayment is recoverable with interest from the recipient. 
The following explains the information that we need:

We provide discretionary relief under the De Minimis Regulation (Regulation 1998/2006). This allows an enterprise to receive up to €200,000 de minimis aid over any period of three fiscal years.  
To establish whether you are eligible to receive de minimis aid, you must declare the full amount of de minimis aid granted to you during the previous two fiscal years and the current fiscal year.  
Any assistance you have received, or are due to receive, from a public body may be de minimis aid. This could be any aid, grant or support from central, regional, devolved governments or agencies or a local council. Assistance could have been granted to your organisation, parent organisation or another company within your group. You must declare all assistance.

The following is not a comprehensive list of all possible forms of aid. However, it should give you an indication of common forms of aid, which you may have been given over the past three years.  

Type of aidExplanation
State grantsProvision of goods and services on preferential terms
Interest rate reliefIndemnities against operating losses
Tax reliefReimbursement of costs in the event of success
Tax creditsState guarantees, whether direct or indirect, to credit operations preferential re-discount rates
State guarantees or holdingsDividend guarantees
State provision of goods or services on preferential termsPreferential public ordering
Direct subsidiesReduction of, or exemption from, charges or taxes, including accelerated depreciation and the reduction of social contributions
Tax exemptionsDeferred collection of fiscal or social contributions
Preferential interest ratesAssistance financed by special levies
Guarantees of loans on especially favourable termsCapital transfers
Acquisition of land or buildings either gratuitously or on favourable termsCertain State holdings in the capital of undertakings

Any organisation giving you assistance under the de minimis regulation should give you a letter confirming this. If you are not sure whether any public assistance you have received is de minimis aid, please contact the body that granted the assistance to clarify this.   
Please then provide us with information about all forms of public assistance under €200,000 you have received in the last three years. You should detail the amount of aid, the period it is for, the organisation providing it and the nature of the aid (for example Retail Relief).