warning icon
For the most up to date service disruptions and information on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) please follow these links

Business rates

Business Rates 2020/2021 (Covid-19)

Update 24 March 2020

We issued bills for business rates at the start of the month. For businesses in the nursery, retail, hospitality and leisure sectors the Government has now granted a year’s relief. We will issue new bills confirming that the amount is nil for your records as soon as we can get our software updated.  In the meantime we won’t take your ordinary direct debit so that your cash flow is not affected. The Government has announced a range of other measures to support businesses and we will share information on these as soon as we receive it.
The Council is urgently updating its business rates collection practices in response to COVID-19. The Government has also announced that it would provide additional business rate support to some small businesses.

Businesses in the hospitality, leisure and retail sectors, regardless of Rateable Value, will pay no business rates during the coming year as relief of 100% will be granted. The measure includes shops, cinemas, restaurants, museums art galleries, theatres, gyms, small hotels, sport clubs, day nurseries and night clubs. This is expected to benefit over 2,300 businesses in Newham. The Council will identify eligible businesses and automatically apply the relief and issue adjusted bills, as quickly as the software suppliers can make the necessary changes. Whilst the Council awaits these changes, we are actively cancelling direct debits for those businesses that will qualify, so as to avoid further financial impact.

Any company eligible for small business rates relief will be eligible for grant of £10,000. Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with rateable values of up to £51,000 will be eligible for a £25,000 grant. It is not yet clear when or how businesses will access the grant, as the Council are still awaiting the details from Central Government. This could benefit up to 6,706 businesses in Newham and we will draw up a scheme as quickly as possible.

The Council’s business rates team will also be moderating recovery action whilst the current situation persists, and are on hand to deal with any enquiries from businesses.

We know that this unprecedented situation is very difficult so please get in touch if you need any further clarity or if you wish to discuss your account on 0208 430 3250 or

The situation and government guidance is changing very rapidly and we will update this information as things change.

Find out what business rates are, how they are calculated and why some businesses have to pay a supplement.

Business support information and advice - Covid-19

Emergency rates relief and grants

The following measures are being implemented to support businesses:
  • All retail/hospitality/leisure businesses in England will receive 100% retail rates relief discount for the next 12 months
  • A revised bill is on its way to businesses and should be received in the next few days. It means we won’t be collecting any business rates payments over 2020/2021. This has now been extended to include  Estate agents, letting agencies and bingo halls.


​​What are business rates?

Business rates are taxes for businesses. Central government divides the money it raises between councils, according to the number of people living in the area.
The exception is the City of London, where special rules apply.
The money from business rates, along with income from council tax and other sources, pays for services provided by your council and other authorities in your area.
For more information about business rates, go to the Government’s website.  

How we calculate your business rates

We work out your business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of your property (set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA)) by the business rates multiplier (set by Central Government).
The rateable value is the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a certain date.
The VOA resets rateable values every five years. The last time they were set was 1 April 2017, based on property values on 1 April 2015.

The VOA may also change the value if circumstances change.

You can find the rateable value of your property on the front of your bill. There is a full list of all the rateable values on the VOA website.

Appealing your property's rateable value

You can ask for your property’s rateable value to be corrected if you think it’s wrong.

You do not need to use a ratings advisor to appeal. However if you decide to use an advisor, make sure they are a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation. They are qualified and have a code of conduct which will protect you from poor service.

Check that they have the knowledge and expertise needed, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, get advice before entering into any contract.

Business rates multiplier

The government has set two multipliers:
  • standard non-domestic multiplier
  • small business non-domestic multiplier
Visit the Valuation Office website for the current multipliers
The Government revaluates (resets) the multipliers every year, using formulas set by law.
In between these revaluations, the Government also change the multipliers to bring them in line with inflation and to take account of the cost of small business rate relief.
In the year of a revaluation the multipliers are reset to account for changes in rateable values and to make sure that no extra money is raised for Government.

'And premises'

Most properties in the valuation list have the words 'and premises' in their description, for example 'shop and premises'.

In this case the 'and premises' means any parts of the shop which are not separately mentioned in the description such as a storeroom, a small kitchen area or staff toilet.

It will not include any flats or homes above the shop. They will be taxed separately under council tax.


Business rate supplements

Sometimes we ask businesses in Newham for more in taxes to help pay for large projects such as Crossrail. This added amount is called a supplement.
The supplement only applies to properties with a rateable value of £70,000 and above. The most we can ask for is an extra 2p per pound of rateable value.


Business Improvement District (BID)

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a defined area in which a levy is charged on business rate payers in addition to the business rates bill. 

This levy is used to develop projects which will benefit businesses in the local area. 

Further information about Stratford’s BID, Stratford Original, can be found at​
Back to top