Coronavirus (Covid-19) help for Business Rates customers

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the Government announced there would be support for small businesses, and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors. 

Local Discretionary Grant Scheme

The Local Discretionary Grant Scheme is an additional fund to the Small Business Grant Fund and the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant Fund, aimed at small businesses not eligible for those funds which have relatively high ongoing property costs, and which can demonstrate they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the COVID-19 crisis.  

See further information on our Discretionary Grant Scheme

Small Business Grant

A small business grant fund of £10,000 for all businesses in receipt of small business rate relief; and

Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant

  • a grant of £10,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property where the rateable value is up to £15,000 or;
  • a grant of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property – where the rateable value is over £15,000 and below £51,000 (RV between 15,001 – 50,999)

Only one grant may be awarded for each property. 

The Government have now confirmed that the COVID-19 Business Grant schemes will officially end on 28th August 2020

We have already paid out over £85m in business support grants but believe there may be certain businesses who have not have contacted us and may still be eligible to receive a grant.

We do not want you to miss out the financial support you may be entitled to, so please, if you have not already done so, supply your business bank details using our online form.

Do not resubmit your details if you have not received payment - more than one application will result in a delay to the payment.

We'll use your bank details to make payment of the small business grant.

If you do not pay your business rates by direct debit or you qualify for small business rate relief, we do not hold any bank details for you. We need your business’s bank details so we can make a payment to you. We are unable to make payment via cheque. 

Once you have completed the form our Business Rates team will check your details and if you qualify we will make a payment via BACS directly into your bank account within a week. We will send you a letter asking you to confirm that you are able to accept the grant under state aid rules. If your claim is not successful or if we have any queries we will contact you directly.

Do not resubmit your details if you have not received payment - more than one application will result in a delay to the payment.

Grant Request - provide your bank details online

If you do not have your account number

Email brates@cheshireeast.gov.uk with your name and business address, you will need to attach at least 2 forms of identification to confirm your identity and business from the list below:

  • Acceptable proof of identity
    • passport
    • current driving licence (full or provisional)
    • Full birth certificate
  • Acceptable proof of address business
    • Utility bill for the business within the last 3 months
    • Bank statement for the business within the last 3 months to show the business rate account holder’s name
  • Acceptable proof of address for sole traders
    • A copy of your current council tax bill showing your name and home address
    • current driving licence (full or provisional)

If the request is for a limited company you will need to include evidence that you are the director of a limited company.

When we have verified your identity and have all the details we need we will respond to you. 

Our telephones are very busy at this time so only call us if it is absolutely necessary.

You do not need to employ Rating Agents or other organisations outside of the Council to claim the support that is available. These agents will probably take a percentage of any relief or grant they claim on your behalf. Be extra careful with what you sign and seek further advice before entering into any contract.

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud - and any business caught falsifying their records to gain additional grant money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back.

Your business may be eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund payment of £10,000 if on the 11 March 2020 your business was eligible for:

  • Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) Scheme (including those with a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 which receive tapered relief)
  • relief under the Rural Rate Relief Scheme

Eligible recipients will receive one grant per property. Make sure we have your bank details.

Exclusions to Small Business Grant Fund

You cannot get this grant for:

  • running a business from home 
  • properties occupied for personal uses, such as private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings
  • car parks and parking spaces
  • businesses which as of the 11 March 2020 were in liquidation or were dissolved 

Your retail, hospitality and leisure business may be eligible for a grant if you had a property which on the 11 March 2020

  • where the rateable value is up to £15,000; a grant of £10,000 or 
  • where the rateable value is over £15,000 and below £51,000 (RV between 15,001 – 50,999) a grant of £25,000
  • and would have been eligible for a discount under the business rates Expanded Retail Discount Scheme had that scheme been in force are eligible for the grant.

Charities which would otherwise meet this criteria but whose bill for 11 March had been reduced to nil by a local discretionary award will be considered to be eligible for the Retail hospitality and leisure grant.

Recipients will receive one grant per eligible property.

Exclusions to retail, hospitality and leisure grant eligibility

You cannot get this grant for:

  • properties occupied for personal uses, such as private stables and loose boxes, beach huts and moorings.
  • car parks and parking spaces.
  • properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over.
  • businesses which as of the 11 March were in liquidation or were dissolved 

Eligible recipients will receive one grant per property. Recipients cannot receive both Small Business Grant Fund and Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant on the same property.

We're offering businesses who have been adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic the opportunity to delay payment of Business Rates. There are 2 options available;

  1. Delay your Business Rates payments to start in August and continue each month until March
  2. Delay your Business Rates payments to start in September and continue each month until March

Use our online form to apply.

Defer my payments

For accounts that will be entitled to the 100% retail relief, we will not submit a claim to banks for any business rates direct debits that are due in April. We urge all other businesses to pay what they can and seek advice where possible from their bank or other business support.

Any businesses that are experiencing difficulty paying their business rates should email us at brates@cheshireeast.gov.uk  We can agree special payment plans so that the business rates due for 2020/21 are split over 9 months from July 2020 to March 2021, meaning that businesses will not have to pay anything until July.

For businesses that are in the retail, hospitality or leisure industry, we've suspended all recovery action for an initial three-month period. We'll consider requests from other businesses and organisations based on their circumstances.We urge all businesses to keep in touch with us to make sure that they're getting all the relief and support that they're entitled to and to let us know how we can support them during this challenging period.

The court has adjourned all cases to a new hearing on 24 September 2020. A letter will be issued to you to confirm the new hearing date.

The Chancellor announced new measures in the budget to help businesses minimise the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). See our Cheshire East business page for further information on business support.

Business Rates holiday

Retail discount will be increased to 100% and expanded to cover all retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England.

Nurseries that are on  OFSTED's Early Years Register and used for the provision of Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) are included. 

If you meet the criteria for eligibility for the 100% expanded retail discount your business rates bill for 2020/21 will be reduced to NIL. You will not be expected to repay the amount of discount awarded at a later date.

We will identify businesses that are entitled to the discount and will send a revised bill. You do not need to apply.

If your business does not meet the criteria you should expect to pay in accordance with the bill recently issued to you for 2020/21.

You will receive a refund if you pay your first instalment and then receive the discount.

If you still have an outstanding balance to pay from last year (arrears) and are in financial difficulty you can use our online deferral form to pay instalments from June to February/March 2021.

If you have temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) you do not need to inform Business Rates of the temporary closure. Only advise us if the premises has been permanently vacated and is empty. Do not cancel your Direct Debit. If you're entitled to the retail discount, we will not collect payment from you in April.


Business support through Covid-19

See our business support page for details of other schemes available to businesses.