THE Government has bolstered its support to the UK's High Street during the COVID-19 pandemic by further extending its business rates relief scheme, says commercial property agent Prop-Search.
Estate agents and lettings agencies that have closed due to the lockdown will now also be exempt from business rates in the coming financial year. The Government has also pledged that if they have already made a payment that this will be refunded by their local authority.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "We are determined to do whatever it takes to support businesses during COVID-19, which is why we have extended business rates relief for the High Street."
"I am removing some the exclusions for this relief, so that retail, leisure, and hospitality properties that have closed as a result of the measures announced by the Prime Minister will now be eligible for the relief.
"This will ensure that estate agents, lettings agencies and bingo halls that are required to close will not pay any business rates next year."
In response, Samantha Jones, Associate Director and Retail Specialist at Prop-Search, said: "It is great that the Government has recognised the need to extend the business rates exemption for estate and letting agents. This is a real boost in uncertain times and will undoubtedly assist businesses that find it difficult to operate in the current environment."
The Government had previously announced that it would grant all retail and hospitality firms a 12-month business rates holiday, as well as £330bn worth of loans. Additionally, grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief have been increased from £3,000 to £10,000.
The Government has also provided further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value of between £15,000 and £51,000.
Contact Prop-Search for more information on 01933 223300 or visit www.prop-search.com