What is rural rate relief?

Definition of rural rate relief

Rural rate relief is a discount on the business rates charged on property in England. It's available in certain circumstances to businesses located in rural areas with a population below 3,000. Rules on rate relief for businesses are different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Since 2017, rural rate relief has been a discount of 100% of business rates and can be applied if a business is in a rural area and is either:

  • a village’s only shop or post office, with a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • a village’s only public house or petrol station, with a rateable value of up to £12,500

Businesses should contact their local council to check their eligibility and to apply for rural rate relief.

Rural rate relief and coronavirus

During the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, the UK government announced small business grant funding of up to £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of rural rate relief. The devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also announced similar funding.

Local authorities in England and Wales will contact business owners about grant funding. Small businesses in Scotland should apply for the grant through the Scottish government.

At the time of writing, the Northern Irish government had not stated how the grant funding will be made available to businesses in Northern Ireland. More information about support for Northern Irish businesses is available on the HMRC website.

To learn more about what the coronavirus crisis could mean for your business and to stay up to date with the latest news, take a look at our small business coronavirus hub.

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