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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 follow the guidance but do not telephone us.  

Business rate payers - help

The government announced a range of help for businesses to be delivered by us. Further information is below.

Grants for ratepayers in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount or Small Business Rate Relief

As of 10 August, we have paid over £21.5 million in grants on 1604 properties.  The scheme closes on 28 August 2020.  If you are eligible and have not applied, please do so by 17 August 2020.  This will allow us to review your application, and arrange payment before the scheme closes.

There are two grant schemes. 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
  • your business must not have been insolvent on 11 March. 

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

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.

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 must simply meet all the other criteria.

If you meet the criteria you can apply for a grant through our Grant payment form

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

The Gov.UK website has details of other measures which may help, including the more recently announced bounce back loans. 

It is worth checking this website regularly to ensure you are aware of any other help that is announced.

Expanded Retail Discount (holiday)

We have applied this to all the accounts that we can identify and have issued revised bills.  If you have not received a revised bill but believe that your business meets the criteria, please email us with details at BRates@guildford.gov.uk.

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 wholly or mainly provides goods or services to visiting members of the public.

Rate holiday for non local authority childcare providers

We have rebilled all the nurseries that qualify.

Discretionary grants for businesses

The government allocated us a discretionary fund of £1,111,500.  Our local scheme was open for applications from 5 to 15 June 2020.  All applicants have been contacted and funds distributed.

Other difficulties

We are dealing 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.

Thank you

We have received an extraordinary number of enquiries in recent months.  As a result, we have not always been able to respond as quickly as we would like.  We would like to thank you for your patience during this time.