Supporting small businesses relief
At the 2022 autumn statement, the Chancellor announced that the 2023 Supporting Small Business (SSB) scheme would cap bill increases at £600 per year for any business losing eligibility for some or all Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief at the 2023 revaluation. SSB was first introduced at the 2017 revaluation to support ratepayers facing bill increases greater than the Transitional Relief caps due to the loss of Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief.
Supporting Small Business relief will apply to eligible ratepayers for financial years 2023/24 to 2025/26.
Accessing the relief
The SSB relief will be applied automatically to your business rate account if you are eligible.
Who benefits from this scheme?
SSB relief helps ratepayers of occupied properties who lost some or all of their Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief due to a change in their Rateable Value in the 2023 revaluation.
SSB relief limits the increase per year in the bills of these ratepayers to a cash value of £600 per year. The starting amount of your 2022/23 rate bill for this purpose is worked out based on a full year of occupied rates using your circumstances on 31 March 2023, not including discretionary reliefs such as Retail Discount and discretionary top-up Rural Rate Relief.
Ratepayers who qualify for SSB relief in 2023/24 due to receiving the Extension of Transitional Relief and Supporting Small Business Relief in 2022/23 can receive SSB relief for 2023/24 only. All other ratepayers can receive SSB relief from 2023/24 until 2025/26, provided they meet the criteria.
Eligibility for SSB relief is not affected by a change in ratepayer. However, if the property becomes unoccupied, it will not be eligible for SSB relief when it is re-occupied.
While eligible for the SSB relief scheme, those whose 2023 rateable values are £51,000 or more will not be liable to pay the supplement (1.3p) to fund small business rate relief. As with all reliefs, the amount awarded will be recalculated should there be a change of circumstances (such as a change of rateable value).
The cash cap and subsidy control
Under the cash cap, no ratepayer can in any circumstances exceed the £110,000 cash cap across all of their hereditaments in England. Where a ratepayer has a qualifying connection with another ratepayer then those ratepayers should be considered as one ratepayer for the purposes of the cash caps. A ratepayer shall be treated as having a qualifying connection with another:
- where both ratepayers are companies, and
- one is a subsidiary of the other, or
- both are subsidiaries of the same company; or
- where only one ratepayer is a company, the other ratepayer (the “second ratepayer”) has such an interest in that company as would, if the second ratepayer were a company, result in its being the holding company of the other.
Furthermore, the retail hospitality and leisure scheme is likely to amount to subsidy. Any relief provided by local authorities under this scheme will need to comply with the UK’s domestic and international subsidy control obligations (See the BEIS guidance for public authorities which contains guidance and information for the new UK subsidy control regime, which will commence on 4 January 2023.
To the extent that a local authority is seeking to provide relief that falls below the Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA) thresholds, the Subsidy Control Act allows an economic actor (e.g. a holding company and its subsidiaries) to receive up to £315,000 in a 3-year period (consisting of the 2023/24 year and the 2 previous financial years). MFA subsidies cumulate with each other and with other subsidies that fall within the category of ‘Minimal or SPEI financial assistance’. Expanded Retail Discount granted in 2021/22 does not count towards the £315,000 allowance but BEIS COVID-19 business grants and any other subsidies claimed under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement should be counted
To discuss your businesses eligibility please contact the business rates team on 01242 264255 or email [email protected].