Budget 2020 – Business rates for small retailers put on freeze

Mar 25, 2020

In light of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) situation the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a series of measures to help with business rates for the upcoming financial year.

These include:

1. a freeze of business rates for businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000 and which work in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector;

2. a freeze of business rates in 2020/21 for nursery schools which are not operated by local authorities from 1 April; and

3. grants of up to £10,000 will be available where a business receives small business rate relief and does not fall into retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.

Is my retail/leisure business eligible for the business rate freeze?

Your business will be eligible for the business rates freeze listed at 1 above if:

1. Your business is based in England; and

2. Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector.


Each property to benefit from the relief must be wholly or mainly used in the following ways:

1. As shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues; or

2. For assembly and leisure; or

3. As hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.


Your business has a rateable value of less than £51,000.

Is my nursery business eligible for the business rate freeze?

Your business will be eligible for the business rates freeze listed at 2 above if:

1. Your business is based in England


Each property to benefit from the relief must be;

1. Occupied by providers on Ofsted’s Early Years Register; and

2. Wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage.

What action do I need to take?

If you meet the above eligibility criteria for the business rates freeze, you do not need to take any action. The relief will be applied automatically to the next council tax bill issued in April 2020.

If you need to calculate the current rateable value of your business you can use the business rates calculator on the government website.

Is my business eligible for the Small Business Grant Scheme?

Your business will be eligible if:

1. Your business is based in England;

2. You are a small business and already receive the Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) or the Rural Rate Relief (RRR); and

3. You are a business that occupies property.

How to access the scheme:

Your local authority will write to you if you meet the criteria for this grant. You can enquire with your local authority if you are expecting to receive this grant and they do not make contact with you.

If you are unsure who your local authority is, you can use the local authority search on the government website.

This article is intended as a general guide and should not be relied upon for specific legal advice.

If you have any queries about break rights and break clauses, or want to find out more about commercial leases, please contact Daniel York, Partner, in our Real Estate team, or email your query to realestate@herrington-carmichael.com; call us on 01276 686222 or visit our website https://www.herrington-carmichael.com/contact/

This reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter.















By Daniel York

Partner, Property Law  


Latest Articles & Legal Insights

Sign up

Enter your email address for legal updates on Private Client & Family Law.

Please see our privacy policy regarding use of your data.

Top read insights in 2019

Contract Law

Material Breach of Contract

What is a ‘material’ breach of contract by a party to a commercial contract? This is a critical issue regularly considered by the courts. What constitutes a material breach and what are the remedies?

Property Law

Purchasing Land – Option Agreements

A developer and a landowner can enter into an Option Agreement. What are the strategies that can be employed by both landowners and developers to assist in such land deals?

Divorce and Family Law

What are the Tax Implications of a Civil Partnership?

Is there a significant tax saving to be made by a couple who are married or in a civil partnership that cohabitating couples simply don’t qualify for?  

Land & Property Dispute

Restrictive Covenants – The Price of Modification

Having identified that your land is burdened by a restrictive covenant and for the purposes of this article the covenant in question will be that only one residential building can be erected on the land. What do you do next?

Wills, Trusts and Probate

Is my Will applicable to my Spanish property?

You must be careful when relying on an English Will in relation to your Spanish property.

Award winning legal advice

We are solicitors in Camberley, Wokingham and London. In 2019, Herrington Carmichael won ‘Property Law Firm of the Year’ at the Thames Valley Business Magazines Property Awards, ‘Best Medium Sized Business’ at the Surrey Heath Business Awards and we were named IR Global’s ‘Member of the Year’. We are ranked as a Leading Firm 2020 by Legal 500 and Alistair McArthur is ranked in Chambers 2020.


60 St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2N 4JS 

+44 (0) 203 755 0557


Building 9, Riverside Way, Watchmoor Park, Camberley, Surrey. GU15 3YL. 

+44 (0)1276 686 222


27 Broad Street, Wokingham, Berkshire. RG40 1AU.

+44 (0)118 977 4045


© 2020 Herrington Carmichael LLP. Registered in England and Wales company number OC322293.

Herrington Carmichael LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Privacy   |   Terms and Conditions   |   Cookies   |   Client Feedback