During the Chancellor's 2018 autumn budget statement on 29th October 2018, the Government announced it would provide a business rate retail discount of one third of their business rate bills to businesses who occupy eligible retail premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

We have identified those businesses that are entitled to the retail discount based upon guidance given to Council's by Government which is set out below. Businesses entitled to the retail discount will receive their discounted Business Rate bills in April 2019 with the first payment due in May 2019.

Government guidance on business rates retail discount

The Government has issued guidance on properties that would qualify for the one third discount as those with a rateable value of less than £51,000 that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments. Such properties are considered to mean:

    1. Properties that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public:

  • Shops (such as florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, newagents, hardware stores, supermarkets)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post offices
  • Furnishing shops (such as carpet shops, double glazing shops, garage door shops)
  • Car/caravan show rooms
  • Second hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol stations
  • Garden centres
  • Art galleries (where are is for sale or hire)

    2. Properties that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Hair and beauty services (such as hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tannin shops)
  • Shoe repairs/key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices (eg provision of tickets for the Theatre)
  • Dry cleaners
  • Launderettes
  • PC/TV/Domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire

    3. Properties that are being used for the sale of food and/or drink to visiting members of the public:

  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways
  • Sandwich shops
  • Coffee shops
  • Pubs
  • Bars

The list of properties set out above which the Government have identified as being entitled to the discount is not meant to be exhaustive since it would be impossible to list the mane and varied retail uses that exist. For example some properties will be mix use.


Below is a list of properties the Government do not consider to be retail use and therefore will not qualify for the discount:

Finance services (eg banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shop, pawn brokers)

  • Other services (eg estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)
  • Medical services (eg vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (eg solicitors, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisers, tutors)
  • Post office sorting offices.

The Government also does not consider other assembly or leisure uses beyond those listed under the provision of food and drink establishments. For example, cinemas, theatres, and museums are outside the scope of the scheme as are nightclubs and music venues.

St Albans City and District Council have identified the businesses within the District who we believe are entitled to the discount based upon the guidance the Government have given which will be shown on their Business Rate Demand Notices for 2019-20.


State Aid

Awards such as retail discount are required to comply with the EU regulations on state aid.

This means if you have been granted the discount, you must make a declaration to this Council if you have received any deminimus state aid including any other you have been awareded in addition to the property or properties in this District and confirming that the award of retail discount does not exceed 200,000 euros they are entitled to receive under the deminimus Regulations EX1407/2013.


If you do not want to receive the retail discount in relation to the property or properties within this District please complete the form that will be sent with your business rates bill in April. This may be particularly relevant to those premises that are part of a large retail chain where the cumulative total of retail discount received could exceed 200,000 euros.


Further information on State Aid can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/state-aid 

Date of last review: 04 June 2019