Thank you for contacting me about business rates relief.
I realise the real impact Coronavirus is having on local businesses here in Hastings and Rye, and across the United Kingdom. To help them through this difficult time, I welcome that decisive action has been taken to support businesses through a combination of grants, funds and a business rates holiday.
It is clear the economic effects of fighting COVID-19 last longer for businesses than the duration of any given restrictions, and we need to go further with our support. I welcome that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until March in response to new national restrictions, and to give people and businesses across the whole United Kingdom the certainty they need over what will be a difficult winter. Under the extension, the Government will pay 80 per cent of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Flexible furloughing will be allowed in addition to full-time furloughing.
All retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will also pay no business rates for the 2020-21 financial year, regardless of their rateable value. This relief applies to over 350,000 properties and is worth almost £10 billion. Nurseries and estate agents can benefit from this, and the Government is also providing local authorities with a further £1.1 billion to support businesses in their areas.
I understand that this is a difficult time for businesses across the country and I will continue to support efforts that offer more financial stability to businesses and people. A fundamental review of business rates is also underway, which aims to reduce the burden on businesses and make the system work better overall.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Sally-Ann Hart MP