Date updated:

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a package of measures the government is set to implement to support businesses, public services and individuals through the COVID-19 outbreak.  

One of the key measures announced was the extension of the business rates ‘holiday’ to all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England for the 2020 to 2021 tax year. This measure extends the one-year business rates holiday revealed by the Chancellor last week, which applied only to smaller commercial premises with a rateable value of under £51,000.


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

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure
  • as hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Eligible business do not need to take any action to avail of this relief; it will be applied to council tax bills issued (or reissued) for April 2020.

The Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government issued additional guidance today for local authorities, which sets out further details of which properties will and will not benefit from this relief. 

Other measures

The Chancellor also pledged:

  • a £25,000 grant for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • £10,000 grant to businesses currently eligible for small business rate relief or rural rate relief, to help meet their ongoing business costs. Eligible businesses will be contacted directly by their relevant local authority.

Clients with enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, these reliefs may contact their relevant local authority or the Stone King commercial property team for further guidance.