COVID 19 Business Rates Updates

Billing and recovery update

We know this is a difficult time for many of our ratepayers and that the COVID-19 virus is having a significant impact on the economy.

The annual bills for non-domestic rates (Business Rates) were prepared, printed and posted before any government announcements.

We understand this is a difficult time for everyone, especially the most vulnerable members of our society.  We have therefore decided that in most cases we will postpone debt recovery action in relation to business rates.

We would also like to thank ratepayers who are not eligible for any of the measures announced by the Chancellor and who will continue pay their business rates as normal as their contribution is helping us maintain essential services.

Business Grant Payments

Small Businesses, and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Businesses

On 11 March 2020 the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a new scheme which would offer one-off grant payments to the smallest business and this scheme would be administered by local Councils. On 17 March 2020 this scheme was extended to include new business sectors and the value of the grant increased significantly.

Since this date the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had been working on eligibility criteria, and the final version (V4) was released to local Councils on 3 April 2020.

The grant funding schemes are summarised on our dedicated page. If you do not meet then eligibility criteria then you will not receive a payment.

I think I am eligible, what do I need to do?

We will only make payments by bank transfer, so if you do not currently pay your Business Rates by Direct Debit then we will not hold any bank details for you and we will be unable to pay this direct to your bank account.

To allow for payment by bank transfer (BACS) then we will need you to confirm your business bank details. Please provide your bank details on the below secure link.

Before you complete this form you will need to find your account number which is shown on your annual bill which was issued at the beginning of March. To safeguard public finances against potential fraud we will not be able to confirm your account number over the telephone or by email.

If you cannot find your account number then we can send you a copy of your bill to the postal address we hold on our Business Rate systems but due to exceptional demand and limited resources this may take some time. If you require a copy of your bill posting then please email our Business Rates team at revenues@blackpool.gov.uk.

We have been made aware that a few of our ratepayers are receiving telephone calls from individuals purporting to be from Blackpool Council or another government department asking for your bank details to enable payment. Please note: Blackpool Council will not telephone you and ask for your bank details to be given over the phone.

Payment update

For those who have supplied their bank details and where there are no ongoing queries then your grant payment should be paid to your bank account within 5 working days. But we have received a large number of applications which are inaccurate or incomplete and we are in the process of contacting these ratepayers for clarification.

Discretionary Grant Payments

Applications are invited for financial support under a new £2.4m discretionary grants scheme which goes live from Monday 1 June.

The Local Authority Discretionary Grants Fund supports small businesses and charities that have fallen outside of the scope of current grant schemes - the Small Business Grants Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund. The top-up fund is 5% of the value of those funds.

The fund will provide support for active small businesses and charities who can demonstrate on-going fixed property-related costs and suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Business rate extended relief for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses

The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that all qualifying ratepayers in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will now benefit from a 100% relief irrespective of rateable value and irrespective of deminimus EU state aid limits which previously applied. We have indentified eligible ratepayers and have applied the relief to all qualifying accounts. If you feel you are eligible for this relief but have not received an award then please contact our Business Rates team at revenues@blackpool.gov.uk.

Business rate relief for Ofsted registered early years nurseries

We have identified eligible nurseries in the Blackpool area and applied a 100% relief, meaning these ratepayers will have nothing to pay. If you feel you are eligible for this relief but have not received an award then please contact our Business Rates team at revenues@blackpool.gov.uk.