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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - support for businesses (updated 19 May 2020)

The Government has announced a package of measures to support businesses during the period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

Unfortunately, we had already printed and posted business rates bills for 2020-2021 before these announcements, and so these bills do not include the changes.

The package includes: 

  • a 12-month business rates holiday to all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses.
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for non-local authority childcare providers
  • Grant funding of:
  • £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in premises with a rateable value up to and including £15,000, which do not get small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in premises with a rateable value over £15,000 and less than £51,000.

Discretionary business grant 

The Government has set up this fund to accommodate certain small businesses previously outside of the scope of the business grants scheme. It is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs.

Businesses must be small, under 50 employees, and they must also be able to demonstrate that they have seen a significant drop in income due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) restriction measures.

Please note: We are currently working to deliver a scheme that will enable us to help as many businesses as possible, as fairly as possible and as quickly as possible. We will provide full details on this page when the scheme has been agreed.

Business rates holiday

You will get the business rates holiday if your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector.

It will apply to any property that is occupied and wholly or mainly used:

  • as a shop, restaurant, café, drinking establishment, cinema or live music venue
  • for assembly or leisure (including sports clubs, nightclubs, theatres, sport and leisure facilities, gyms, public halls, clubhouses)
  • as a hotel, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation
  • for the provision of childcare

Premises that have closed temporarily due to the Government’s advice on COVID-19 will be treated as occupied. 

If you think your business qualifies for the business rates holiday but you have not received an updated bill showing this, please email us at business.rates@dacorum.gov.uk.

Small business grant

The Government has announced a one-off grant of £10,000 payable to businesses that receive a business rates bill that includes small business rate relief or rural rate relief.

If we think you qualify for this grant, we have sent you a letter telling you what you need to do to receive it. We have sent the letter to the address you have given us to send your business rates bill.

At the moment, we expect to pay the grant within two weeks of you providing the information we need.

If you haven’t received your letter, please visit our Business support grants page for more information.

Please do not contact our customer service or business rates teams for more information about this grant, as they do not have any more details than are on this page.

Retail, hospitality and leisure business grant

The Government has announced grants of:

  • £10,000 for businesses operating from premises with a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 that don’t get a small business grant
  • £25,000 for businesses operating from premises with a rateable value of more than £15,000 but less than £51,000

If we think you qualify for this grant, we have sent you a letter telling you what you need to do to receive it. We have sent the letter to the address you have given us to send your business rates bill.

At the moment, we expect to pay the grant within two weeks of you providing the information we need.

If you haven’t received your letter, please visit our Business support grants page for more information.

Please do not contact our customer service or business rates teams for more information about this grant, as they do not have any more details than are on this page.

Business rates relief

Types of business rates relief

Certain types of property or business may be entitled to relief (discount) on their business rates. See below for details of the types of relief available.

Expand all

  • Small business rate relief

    You can get small business rate relief if:

    • your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000
    • you occupy the property
    • your business only uses one property - you may still be able to get relief if you use more

    What you get

    You will not pay business rates on a property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

    For properties with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, the rate of relief will go down gradually from 100% to 0%.

    If you use more than one property

    When you get a second property, you’ll keep getting any existing relief on your main property for 12 months.

    You can still get small business rate relief on your main property after this if both the following apply:

    • none of your other properties have a rateable value above £2,899
    • the total rateable value of all your properties is less than £20,000

    You’re a small business but do not qualify for small business rate relief

    If your property has a rateable value below £51,000, your bill will be calculated using the small business multiplier, which is lower than the standard one. This doesn’t apply if the property is unoccupied, or you receive another business rate relief.

    How to get small business rate relief

    You do not need to make a written application for small business rate relief, but we do need to check that you meet the conditions to receive the relief. If you think that you should be getting this relief, but it isn't shown on your bill, please apply using the button lower down the page.

    Changes you need to tell us about

    If you are receiving small business rate relief, you must tell us if:

    (a) you take up occupation of an additional property; or
    (b) there is an increase in the rateable value of a property you occupy outside the area of Dacorum Borough Council.

  • Business rates holiday 2020-2021

    You will get the business rates holiday if your business is in the retail, hospitality or leisure sector.

    It will apply to any property that is occupied and wholly or mainly used:

    • as a shop, restaurant, café, drinking establishment, cinema or live music venue
    • for assembly or leisure (including sports clubs, nightclubs, theatres, sport and leisure facilities, gyms, public halls, clubhouses)
    • as a hotel, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation
    • for the provision of childcare

    Premises that have closed temporarily due to the Government’s advice on COVID-19 will be treated as occupied. 

    If you think your business qualifies for the business rates holiday but you have not received an updated bill showing this, please email us at business.rates@dacorum.gov.uk.

  • Charity and registered community amateur sports club relief

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

    We have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Full details can be found in our  Discretionary Rate Relief Policy (101KB).

    For more information, please contact the Business Rates team.

  • Business rates revaluation relief

    During the 2017 Spring Budget, the Chancellor announced funding of £300 million across four years to provide help to businesses most affected by the revaluation. 

    To qualify, the main conditions are as follows:

    • You have been affected by the revaluation – this means that you must have been occupying the property and liable to pay business rates on both 31 March 2017 and 1 April 2017.
    • You continue to occupy the property and remain liable to pay business rates for it.
    • If you are liable to pay business rates on other properties anywhere in the UK, the total rateable value of all properties must be less than £200,000.
    • You must comply with the State Aid De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013.

    For more information on our scheme, please view our  Revaluation relief 2017-18 to 2020-21 policy (PDF 216KB).

  • Rate relief for businesses in rural areas

    Certain types of properties in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000 - for example, the only general store, post office or food shop and with a rateable value of less than £8,500, or the only public house or petrol station and with a rateable value of less than £12,500 - may be entitled to relief. The property has to be occupied, and an eligible ratepayer will get relief of the full rates charge (50 per cent is mandatory relief and 50 per cent is centrally funded discretionary relief).

  • Partly occupied property relief

    A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, we have discretion to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.

    For further details, please contact the Business Rates team.

  • Unoccupied property rating

    Business rates will not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty (or the first six months for industrial premises).

    After this period, empty rate is charged at 100 per cent of the bill. However, in most cases, the empty property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs.

    There are also a number of exemptions from the empty rate, for example:

    • listed buildings
    • small properties with rateable values of less than £2,900 from 1 April 2017

    For further details, please contact the Business Rates team.

  • Local discretionary relief

    Local authorities have a general power to grant discretionary local discounts or hardship relief in specific circumstances. For full details, please see our File Discretionary Rate Relief Policy (PDF 100KB).

    For more information, please contact the Business Rates team.

  • Spring budget 2017 relief

    Supporting small business

    Ratepayers losing Small Business or Rural Rate Relief as a result of the 2017 revaluation will have their increases limited to the greater of either (i) a cash value of £600 per year, or (ii) the matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme. This relief will run for five years to 31 March 2022 and ratepayers will receive the relief until this date or they reach what their bill would have been within the relief scheme, whichever is first.

    This relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988). Further information can be obtained from us.

    Discretionary scheme

    The Government is providing £300 million of funding to local authorities over four years to 31 March 2021 to provide discounts to ratepayers in their area on a discretionary basis. Each authority has been allocated a share with which to design and implement a scheme to deliver targeted support to ratepayers. The £300m will cover the four years from 2017/18: £175m in 2017/18; £85m in 2018/19; £35m in 2019/20 and £5m in 2020/21.

    Local authority allocations can be found on the Government website.

    This relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988). Further information can be obtained from us.

  • State aid

    The award of discretionary rate reliefs is considered likely to amount to state aid. However, it will be state aid compliant where it is provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013. The De Minimis Regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to €200,000 ‘de minimis’ aid over a rolling three-year period. If you are receiving, or have received, any ‘de minimis’ aid granted during the current or two previous financial years (from any source), you should inform us immediately and provide details of the aid received.

Apply for business rates relief

Some businesses and community organisations are able to claim a discount on their business rates.

Small business rates relief

For businesses occupying:

a) only one property, which has a 2017 rateable value of less than £15,000

b) more than one property provided that none of the additional properties have a rateable value above £2,899, and the total rateable value is less than £20,000.

Apply for small business rates relief

Mandatory relief

Organisations such as charities and sports clubs, which are not run for profit, can claim 80 per cent business rates relief by completing and returning the form below.

 Mandatory relief application form (PDF 159KB)

Discretionary relief

Organisations that are not run for profit and demonstrate excellent local impact, inclusivity and community engagement can apply for 100 per cent business rates relief by completing and returning the form below. You will also need to supply evidence with your application.

 Discretionary relief application form (PDF 177KB)

Contact us

Email: business.rates@dacorum.gov.uk
Business rates telephone helpline: 01442 228268