Retail Relief

What is Retail Relief?

In 2014 the government introduced a discount of up to £1,000 for retail businesses.For 2014/15 there was an automatic £1,000 discount on shops, restaurants, cafés, bars or clubs that have a rateable value of £50,000 or less.For 2015/2016 the government has increased the discount up to £1,500. This discount will not continue into 2016/2017 tax year.

How do I qualify? 

To qualify, the property must have been occupied and used wholly or mainly for the sale of goods or services to members of the public.There are some exceptions which cannot claim the discount, such as banks, building societies, betting shops, estate or letting agents, solicitors and accountants. This relief is no longer available, the cut off date for applying was 30 September 2016.

Which properties will benefit from relief?

Properties that will benefit are those being used for the sale of goods to visiting member of the public:

  • Shops (such as:florist,bakers,butchers,grocers,greengrocers,jewellers,stationers,off licence,chemists,newsagents,hardware stores,supermarkets,etc)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post offices
  • Furnishing shops/ display rooms (such as:carpet shops,double glazing,garage doors)
  • Car/ caravan show rooms
  • Second hard car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations
  • Garden centres
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)

Properties that will benefit are those being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Hair and beauty services (such as:hair dressers,nail bars,beauty salons,tanning shops,etc)
  • Shoe repairs/key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices e.g.for theatre
  • Dry cleaners
  • Launderettes
  • PC/ TV/ domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • DVD/ video rentals
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire

Properties that will benefit are those being used for the sale of food and/ or drink to visiting members of the public:

  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways
  • Sandwich shops
  • Coffee shops
  • Pubs
  • Bars

Which properties would not benefit from relief?

Properties that will not be considered to be retail use for the purpose of this relief:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks,building societies,cash points,bureau de change,payday lenders,betting shops,pawn brokers).Other services ( agents,letting agents, employment agencies)
  • Medical services (e.g. vets,dentists,doctors,osteopaths,chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g.solicitors,accountants,insurance agents/financial advisers,tutors)
  • Post office sorting office
  •  Properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public

If you think you should have qualified but do not see the discount on your 2014/2015 or 2015/2016 bills, then please feel free to phone the Business Rates team on 01273 291981 between 8.30am and 5.00pm Monday to Friday.


The De Minimis Regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to €200,000 of De Minimis aid in a three year period (consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years).

If you have multiple properties across different authorities,you will be entitled to a discount on each one,but this may mean that you exceed the overall State Aid limit set by the European Commission of 200,000 Euros in a three year period.It is your responsibility to tell us if this is the case,as State Aid could also include relief or aid that is not linked to Business Rates.You will need to calculate which of your discounts you wish to keep across all your properties and tell us if you need your discount to be removed.