Sunday 12th Jul 2020 - Logistics Manager Magazine

COVID -19: Calls to extend business rate holiday to all property

Property consultant Gerald Eve has called for the new business rates measures announced by the Chancellor to be applied across the board to ensure all firms receive assistance in the current crisis

The year-long rates holiday, extended to properties of all sizes, applies to just the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. But with the economic impacts of the pandemic expected to affect all areas of the economy, it said no firm should receive a business rates bill in 2020/21.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak

With coronavirus-related restrictions hitting not just consumer-facing business, the need for 100% rates relief is required for all sectors of the economy, including, manufacturing and logistics firms, office occupiers educational institutions and healthcare

The shift to a rates holiday for all businesses would also remove the inevitable challenges over what exactly constitutes a retail, leisure or hospitality property.

Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at Gerald Eve, said: “In unprecedented circumstances only unprecedented measures will do. The government needs to tell every single company that they will pay no business rates for the next 12 months. The Chancellor said he will do ‘whatever it takes’ – removing all rates liabilities would truly show him putting his money where his mouth is.

“While the extension of the rates holiday to all retail, leisure and hospitality properties is hugely welcome, it is clear that this can only be a start.

“Dealing with this virus is going to have an enormous impact on businesses in all sectors and it is imperative 100 % is applied to every single business for the next year.”