Autumn Budget 2021: Business rate support announced for struggling sectors

The Chancellor has announced several measures to give business rate support to businesses still struggling from the impact of the pandemic.

Businesses in the retail, hospitality & leisure sectors will be able to claim a temporary 50% discount on their annual business rates. This relief will be given up to a maximum of £110,000 per business and will be available for one year only for 2022/23.

A new 100% business rates improvement relief will be available from 2023 such that any business making eligible improvements to an existing property they occupy will not pay any additional business rates for the 12 months following the improvements.

Another new relief will be available for the next five years to support green investment by businesses. Any eligible plant and machinery used for renewable energy, such as solar panels and wind turbines, will be exempt from business rates altogether.

The government has also announced that it is freezing the business rates multiplier for a second year from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2023 for all businesses. The multiplier is currently 51.2p for standard businesses and 49.9p for small businesses (small business multiplier applies to properties with a rateable value of less than £18,000).

For businesses with a property whose rateable value is less than £15,000 the small business rate relief will apply.

From 2023 the current system will be modernised such that there are more frequent revaluations so that they take place every three years instead of every five years, to better reflect current market values.

Very little information has been released in relation to these measures and as ever we await the finer detail. The measures will however be welcome news for businesses still trying to get back on their feet after the pandemic especially in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors.

For more expert Autumn Budget insight and analysis, please visit our Budget hub.