The business rates holiday has been extended for retail businesses in Wales, the Welsh Government’s finance minister has confirmed.
Rebecca Evans announced the £380m package that will provide Welsh hospitality, leisure and retail businesses with rateable values up to £500,000 with 100% relief for 2021/22. The scheme was originally scheduled to end in April.
The Welsh Government said the relief package, in combination with its existing Small Business Rates Relief scheme, would ensure that more than 70,000 businesses continue to pay no rates at all this year.
Rebecca Evans said: “Our targeted, responsible approach has allowed us to dedicate more funding for business support than we have received from the UK government. I am pleased to confirm that our 100 per cent rates relief package for those hardest hit sectors will continue for a further 12 months, protecting jobs and businesses across Wales.” Sara Jones, head of the Welsh Retail Consortium, said the announcement would help provides a boost to much-needed cash-flow for struggling businesses. “Our industry has had to cease trading three times so far during the pandemic, including over the vital Christmas trading period, whilst at the same time investing significantly in Covid safety measures,” she said. “We note that non-essential retailers occupying larger premises, who remain shuttered, will not be afforded the same relief as counterparts in leisure and hospitality and we will seek to engage the Welsh Government to better understand their thinking. “Nonetheless, scrapping business rates for the coming year for the vast majority of retailers provides a much-needed cashflow and confidence boost for the industry as it hopefully emerges from lockdown and seeks to recover.”