Businesses in the Square Mile are being urged to take advantage of measures announced in the Budget to support them through the coronavirus pandemic, with the City of London Corporation pledging to support firms struggling as a result of the current outbreak.
The Chancellor announced a number of changes in the Budget designed to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular, including some that directly impact on business rates.
The authority is awaiting confirmation from central government on exactly how the reliefs will be applied. However, the following additional assistance has been announced:
- An increase to the planned rates discount for pubs from £1,000 to £5,000 for 2020
- A 100% reduction in 2020/21 for businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors where they have a rateable value below £51,000
- Cash grants of £3,000 to very small businesses with rateable values below £15,000
As a result of these exceptional measures some qualifying businesses or organisations may receive a bill that will require an update for the 2020/21 financial year.
The City Corporation will contact all those likely to be affected by these changes once the exact details of how the reliefs are to be applied is known.
Any businesses affected or with queries about their rates should contact [email protected].
Catherine McGuinness, City Corporation policy chair, said: “We recognise that businesses based in the Square Mile are facing difficult trading conditions as a result of the current outbreak.
“The Chancellor rightly set out steps to support households and businesses, particularly SMEs, in the Budget earlier this week. We will contact those businesses covered by these changes and urge those facing genuine hardship to get in touch.”
The City of London was home to 23,890 businesses in 2019, with 99% of these firms classified as SMEs. There were also around 1,000 new start-ups in the Square Mile last year.
Jeremy Mayhew, chairman of the finance committee, said: “In these testing times, it is vital that those businesses facing real difficulties are supported. The measures announced in the Budget were a positive step, particularly for SMEs.
“We will continue to work with businesses based in the Square Mile to offer as much support as possible.”