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Cost of Living

With significant rise in the cost of living we know that some households will be struggling financially, emotionally or because they need practical advice and help. Here is some key information on what support is available and how to access it. As new schemes, advice and support becomes available this page will be kept updated.

Business Rates Reliefs

This provides information about reliefs to Business Rates customers. It also includes changes to small business rates levels introduced in the last budget.

It also includes changes to small business rates levels introduced in the last budget.

The following reliefs are available to ratepayers:

Small business rate relief

The current rateable value threshold for small business rate relief is £15000. The maximum amount of relief that can be awarded is 100% for properties with a ratable value of less than £12,000 and where the ratepayer occupies it as their sole property. Properties with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 are entitled to a proportion of relief up to 100%. Properties with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000 will not receive any relief but will still benefit from the lower rate multiplier.

For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months

From 1 April 2012 it is not necessary to complete a paper application form. If you would like to apply for small business rate relief simply contact us on 01205 314413, visit the council offices at Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston or email the business rates team.

Charity and registered community amateur sports club relief

Charities and registered community amateur sports clubs are entitled to 80% mandatory relief where the property is occupied by a charity or a club and it is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

We have the discretion to allow further relief on the remaining amount. This is called discretionary rate relief. Please contact us for further information.

Non profit making organisation relief

We have the discretion to award discretionary rate relief to non-profit making organisations.

Please contact us for further information if you think you may qualify.

Hardship relief

We also have the discretion to award hardship rate relief in exceptional circumstances.

Please contact us for further information or advice.

Rural rate relief

Certain types of properties in a defined rural area with a population below 3000 may be entitled to rural rate relief. The property must be the only general store, the only post office, or the only food shop and have a rateable value of less than £8,500. Or if it is the only public house or petrol filling station the rateable value must be less than £12,500.

The property has to be occupied. If you are eligible to receive this relief the amount awarded is up to 100% of the full charge.

In addition to this, we can sometimes award relief on certain other occupied properties in a rural settlement where the rateable value is less than £16,500.

Please contact us for further information.

Exemptions from empty property rating

Business rates is not normally paid for the first 3 months that a property is empty. This is extended to 6 months if the property is industrial. After this period rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the Government. In most cases the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities or community amateur sports clubs in addition, there are a number of other exemptions from the empty property rate such as listed buildings, please contact us for further details.

Extended Retail Discount

The Government announced in the Budget on 29 October 2018 that it would provide a Business Rates Retail Discount, to apply in the years 2019/20 and 2021.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, in the Budget on 11 March the Government announced that it would increase the discount to 100% and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors. Following the announcement on 23 March 2020, the Government confirmed that some of the exclusions for this relief have been removed so that retail, leisure and hospitality properties that will have had to close as a result of the restriction measures will now be eligible for the relief.

This relief will apply to occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties in the year 2020/21. There will be no rateable value limit on the relief.

In 2019/20 this was limited to one third discount and only applied to retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are solely or mainly used:

  • a) As shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues,
  • b) For assembly and leisure, or
  • c) As hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.

and are used by visiting members of the public

We will award the Retail Discount in line with the Government's view of what is meant by "shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments" and will be bases on actual use.

The following businesses for the purposes of this scheme are not considered retail and will not qualify:

  • Financial services (banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short term loan providers)
  • Medical services (eg vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (eg solicitors, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisers)
  • Post Office sorting offices

If you wish to apply, please complete and return the application form at the bottom of this page or contact us by phone on 01205 314413, or email the business rates team.

Financial awards such as Retail Discount are required to comply with the EU law on State Aid.

Nursery Discount

As an extraordinary response to the coronavirus, the Government announced a business rates Nursery Discount on 18 March 2020.

This relief will apply to hereditaments occupied by providers of Ofsted's Early Years Register and wholly or mainly used for the provision of the Early Years Foundation Stage and which are subject to business rates in the year 2020/21.

There will be no rateable limit on the relief

The total amount of relief available for each property for 2020/21 under this scheme is 100% of the bill after mandatory reliefs and other discretionary reliefs.

If you wish to apply for this relief, then please contact us by phone on 01205 314413 or by email the business rates team.