We have put together the following information for BID members on Business Rates, relief schemes that you may be entitled to, and details of the additional discretionary relief announced by Shropshire Council.

Quick guide to business rates

  • Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties such as shops, offices and pubs.
  • Business rates are worked out based on your property’s ‘rateable value’ which is its latest open market rental value based on an estimate by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).  The rateable value may be more than the rent you are actually paying.
  • The latest valuations came into effect in April 2017.
  • You may be able to get business rates relief to reduce your bill which is administered by Shropshire Council.
  • Transitional relief limits how much your bill can change each year as a result of revaluation and is automatically applied.
  • Business Rates policy is set by central government and not Shropshire Council.
  • Reliefs are sometimes automatic, but often you need to apply.  See the bottom of this email for a summary of reliefs available and a link to more information and application forms.


April 2017 revaluation

  1. The April 2017 revaluation saw business rates overall in Shrewsbury rise by 5%.  However some businesses have seen an increase of over 300% with the independent sector particularly hard hit.
  2. Shrewsbury BID has met with our local MP to outline the concerns about the impact some of the large increases is having on businesses in Shrewsbury, and the risk to the makeup and identity of the town.
  3. Daniel Kawczynski MP has since met with the Secretary of State to discuss the concerns of Shrewsbury businesses on this issue.


Reliefs announced following the April 2017 Revaluation

  • A discretionary business rates relief scheme was announced in the March 2017 Budget to help alleviate the increased financial burdens created by the revaluation which came into effect on 1 April 2017.
  • Local councils have been awarded funding and given the task of choosing how to distribute funding in their areas.Shropshire Council has been awarded just over £2.2m over four years and has designed a scheme for distributing this funding to eligible Shropshire businesses.
  • Shropshire Council has identified over 1000 businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £200,000 that have seen an increase in their net rates after all other reliefs have been taken into account. The total increase for these businesses is estimated at around £1.5 million.
  • Letters are currently being sent to these businesses with an amended business rates bill explaining the discretionary scheme and advising businesses that if they don’t wish to apply for the relief they should advise the council within 14 days.


Small Businesses Relief

  1. In the Budget, the Chancellor also announced two further rate reliefs: Supporting Small Businesses Relief, for those who had lost Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief as a result of the revaluation; and a Public House Relief.
  2. Applications for these reliefs were issued by Shropshire Council on 6 July, to those ratepayers identified as being entitled to either or both of the reliefs. To date, a large number of these applications remain outstanding.
  3. Shropshire Council has sent out reminders with the advice that if you have received an application, to complete and return them – if not already done so.


Summary of Business Rate Reliefs

Discretionary Relief Additional discretionary relief to businesses adversely affected by the 2017 revaluation. Relief won’t be awarded to national businesses. Relief automatically applied More info
Transitional Relief Transitional relief limits how much your bill can change each year as a result of revaluation. Relief automatically applied More info
Small Business Rate Relief For properties which have rateable value is less than £15,000 Application required More info
Charitable Relief Relief of up to 80% if a property is used for charitable purposes. Application required More info
Relief for Pubs You’ll get £1,000 off your business rates bill if you’re a pub in England with a rateable value of less than £100,000. Application required More info
Hardship Relief Available if you would be in financial difficulties without it and giving hardship relief to you is in the interests of local people Application required More info
Re-occupation relief New occupiers of retail premises that have been unoccupied for more than 12 months receive a 50% discount for 18 months, up to state aid limits. Application required More info


If you have any questions relating to your Business Rates bill or reliefs that you might be entitles to please contact:

Shropshire Council Business Rates Team
0345 678 9003