Retail Discounts

The Government is giving funding to local authorities so that they can provide two types of discount to businesses occupying retail premises in 2014/15 and 2015/16.

1. A discount of up to £1,000 a year in 2014/15 and £1500 in 2015/16 to occupied retail premises with a rateable value of up to £50,000.

This discretionary discount is intended to provide support to premises that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments.

The Government has advised local authorities of the types of premises it considers fall into those categories. Wychavon District Council has identified the businesses in our area that match those guidelines and awarded the discount automatically.

If your business qualifies for this discount and your rates for 2015/16 would have been more than £1,500 you will see that your bill has been reduced by £1,500. If your business rates would have been £1,500 or less then the discount will be equal to the amount that you would have been due to pay.

If you think you qualify for this discount but no reduction is shown on your bill for 2014/15 or 2015/16 then contact us.

If you have received this discount on your bill please read the important information about State Aid below.

Retail Rate Relief is being granted using the councils discretionary rate relief powers and will not continue beyond 31 March 2016.

2. A discount of 50% for 18 months for businesses that move into retail premises that have been empty for a year or more.

This discount is available to businesses which move into retail premises between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016 where those premises have been empty for a year or more. A discount of 50% will be granted for up to 18 months.

If you have received this discount on your bill please read the important information about State Aid below.

Retail Discounts and State Aid regulations

The Government has advised local authorities that the award of either of these Retail Discounts is likely to amount to State Aid. However it will be State Aid compliant if it is provided in accordance with the European Commission De Minimis Regulations (EC 1407/2013). These regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to €200,000 of ‘de minimis' aid over a rolling 3 year period.

If you receive a Business Rate bill from Wychavon District Council which includes a Retail Discount you must ensure that the award of the discount complies with EU law on State Aid.

You should do one of the following:

If you have NOT received any other De Minimis State Aid

If you have not received any other ‘de minimis' State Aid, including any other Retail Discount for premises in Wychavon District Council or from any other local authority, in the current or two previous financial years, you do not need to take any further action. This may apply to you if your business consists of only one retail property.

If you wish to REFUSE the award of Retail Discount

If you wish to refuse to receive the Retail Discount given to you in relation to any business premises in the Wychavon District Council area please complete the ‘Refusal of Retail Discount' form below. This may apply to you if your premises are part of a large retail chain where the cumulative total of Retail Discounts received by your undertaking could exceed €200,000.

Refusal of Retail Discount' form

If you wish to ACCEPT the Retail Discount AND you are receiving or have received other De Minimis State Aid

If you wish to accept the Retail Discount given to you in relation to any business premises in the Wychavon District Council area and you are receiving, or have received, any other ‘de minimis' state aid granted during the current or two previous financial years, from any source, you must complete the ‘De Minimis Declaration' form below. This may apply to you if your business includes several retail premises each of which has been awarded Retail Discount but the total amount received is below the permitted maximum.

By completing the form you are confirming that your undertaking has not received more than the €200,000 maximum allowed under the ‘de minimis' regulations.

In terms of declaring previous De Minimis aid, we are only interested in public support which is De Minimis aid. State Aid received under other exemptions or public support which is not State Aid does not need to be declared.

Under European Commission rules, you must retain a copy of the information you provide on the ‘De Minimis Declaration' form for 3 years from the date on your Business Rate bill and produce it on any request by the UK public authorities or the European Commission. You may need to keep this information longer than 3 years for other purposes. Furthermore, information on this aid must be supplied to any other public authority or agency asking for information on ‘De Minimis' aid for the next three years.

De Minimis Declaration' form (pdf)

Further Information

  1. Further information on State Aid law can be found at https://www.gov.uk/state-aid
  2. An undertaking is an entity which is engaged in economic activity. This means that it puts goods or services on a given market. The important thing is what the entity does, not its status. Thus a charity or not for profit company can be undertakings if they are involved in economic activities. A single undertaking will normally encompass the business group rather than a single company within a group. Article 2.2 of the de minimis Regulations (Commission Regulation EC/1407/2013) defines the meaning of ‘single undertaking'.