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All the information that we currently have is below and we will keep this page updated. If you think you qualify for any of the help listed here, please do not telephone us.  Ways to contact us are listed below if needed. Thanks for your help with this.

Business rate payers - help

Update - business grants letter and form now available

The government announced a range of help for businesses to be delivered by us.  These measures have been evolving.  Information on the current situation and what you can do now to help us help you is below.

Applications for Rate Discount (holiday)

Where we can, we will apply any rate discount (holiday) to your account without application.

Please don't call us

If you think you qualify for any of the help listed here, please do not telephone us.  We don't have any more information and we need to focus on plans to deliver the help.

How we will inform you

We may not be able to issue revised bills or state aid letters immediately.  Instead we will publish a list of property references on our website.  You can find your property reference on your rate demand - on the right, 3rd line down.  This will enable us to get the information to you quickly, whilst protecting your data. 

Already in receipt of Retail Discount? Please do not cancel your direct debit

If you are already in receipt of Retail Discount please do not cancel your direct debit.  This creates additional work for us.  We expect to recalculate your bill during the week of 23 March, so we will not claim the April direct debit.

Update on Rate Discounts for Retail, Leisure and Hospitality - 1 April

On 26 March we updated all the properties that we could identify as qualifying, and confirm that 100% discount has been granted for them.  Where these were due to be paid by direct debit, we can confirm that the direct debit will not be claimed in April.

A list of the property references granted the discount in both PDF and CSV format below (both documents contain the same information), please check that you property reference is included:

icon Properties granted 100% retail discount [107.82KB]

icon Properties granted 100% retail discount [9.99KB]

You can find your property reference on your original rate demand - on the right, third line down.

Revised bills were issued on 27 March. State aid letters are currently being printed.  Due to the speed with which we have had to make these changes it has not been practical to issue the letters and bills together.

Where the rateable value is under £51,000 ratepayers may also qualify for a separate grant.  We expect to issue these in April.  Please see the grant section below for more information.


If you qualify for a retail discount and have already made a payment please email BRates@guildford.gov.uk, putting REFUND and your payer reference and property reference in the subject line.  Provide us with your bank details (name, sort code, account) so that we can arrange a refund. 

Rate holiday for non local authority childcare providers

We currently have no information on this.  Once we have guidance we will try to amend all the accounts that we think meet the criteria. 

Grants for ratepayers - section updated 30 April

The government has continued to review the guidance for local authorities.  It has become clear that we need additional information from ratepayers in association with the scheme.

In April we wrote to all ratepayers who we considered were eligible for a grant. However we are aware that some ratepayers have not had access to their premises. You can read a generic version of the icon Business grants letter [62.72KB] .  Please provide the additional information through our Grant payment form

If you are not a ratepayer, and do not meet the criteria explained below, then you will not be eligible for a grant.  Please do not complete the form if you do not have a rate demand notice in your organisation's name.

We will start to make payments during the week commencing 13 April, and aim to distribute all the grants during April.  Where we can we will make payment prior to receiving the additional form information - however you must still complete the form so that post payment verification can take place.

Further information on the grants can be found on the government website

As of 30 April we have paid £15 million in grants for 1106 properties. We would like to thank everyone who has waited patiently for us to process their request and to apologise for any delays - government guidance has evolved since the grants were first announced and we have received an exceptional number of enquiries in recent weeks. 

We are still processing requests and enquiries, and there is still time to apply using the form above.  We also have a team trying to contact those who we believe are eligible and who have not contacted us yet.

To qualify for a grant your business must be the ratepayer of the property concerned and be eligible for either the expanded retail discount or a small business rate relief reduction on the 11 March. The rateable value of the property must be less than £51,000, the property must not be used for personal use or car parking, and your business must not have been insolvent on 11 March.

To be eligible for the expanded retail discount the premises should be occupied and wholly or mainly being used:

  1. a. as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
  2. b. for assembly and leisure; or
  3. c. as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

The Gov.UK business rates retail discount guidance sets out more details, including exclusions, but the underlying factor is that the property provides goods or services to visiting members of the public.

If you are eligible for a grant, but have not applied, then please do so using our grant payment form. The small business rate relief scheme spans all sectors, including those who may currently be thriving. However these are unusual times and the funds are available to all who qualify - a business does not have to show that they are currently affected by the coronavirus to qualify for a grant, they simply have to meet all the other criteria. The grants are £10,000 for properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or less and £25,000 for properties with rateable values from £15,001 to £50,999.

We understand that a lot of businesses are facing extreme financial difficulties at the present time, but unfortunately we can only provide grants in accordance with the government's guidance. You will not be eligible for a grant if you run a business from your home and only pay Council Tax, or you run your business within another business and are not the ratepayer (for example where you are a concession, or share premises with someone else who pays the rate demand). You are also unlikely to be eligible if you moved into the premises some time ago and neglected to advise us. The Gov.UK website has details of other measures which may help, including the recently announced bounce back loans. It is worth checking this website regularly to ensure you are aware of any other help that is announced.

Other difficulties

We will deal with other difficulties experienced by ratepayers on a case by case basis as the impact is not uniform.  Please email BRates@guildford.gov.uk, putting DIFFICULTIES and your payer reference in the subject line.  Please explain your specific difficulties, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.