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Harris Lamb offer advice on what the 2020 Budget means for pubs

James Ward, of Harris Lamb (the BII's Business Rates Helpline partners), has offered licensees advice on how the 2020 Budget will affect pubs in England.

Budget in brief for Pubs regarding Business Rates

Coronavirus Action from Whitehall for the year 1-4-2020 to 31-3-2021


  • All sites with Rateable Values below £51,000 will pay no rates in the year 2020-2021, this will include all retail, leisure and hospitality properties.
  • A further £3,000 grant is available for all sites that at present claim any portion of the Small Business Rate Relief, RV sub £15,000.
  • A full review of the Business Rates system will be presented as part of the Autumn Budget.
  • Time to pay Corona Loans will be backed by the Government for those in need of stop gap loans.
  • The proposed £1,000 Pubs relief for sites with RV lower than £100,000 will be increased to £5,000 for 1 year.
  • No Duty rise on any wine, cider, spirits or beer.
  • £500,000,000 hardship fund for all businesses allocated by Local Authorities.
  • Not certain at this stage if EU State Aid Limits are still applicable..

This Budget goes a long way to help Pubs for the next year but Harris Lamb will continue to push for refunds and reductions back to 1-4-2017 to assist Publicans now and going forward. Please do not think this Budget means anything more than a short term rebate in the tax on Pubs and continue to contact us to review and challenge Rateable Values wherever a site needs assistance.

The following information has been lifted from the GOV.UK website:

2.32 Business rates

Business rates retail discount – The government has already announced that, for one year from 1 April 2020, the business rates retail discount for properties with a rateable value below £51,000 in England will increase from one third to 50% and will be expanded to include cinemas and music venues. To support small businesses in response to Covid-19 the retail discount will be increased to 100% and expanded to include hospitality and leisure businesses for 2021. (26)

Business rates pubs discount – The government previously committed to introducing a £1,000 business rates discount for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 in England for one year from 1 April 2020. To further support pubs, in response to Covid-19 the discount for pubs will be increased to £5,000. (27)

Local authorities will be fully compensated for the loss of income as a result of these business rates measures.

View the GOV.UK website here: