Business rates urgent update

COVID-19 update for Business Rates as at 27 March 2020

View our coronavirus information for businesses,including advice for travel, health professionals, Building control, Go!Southampton, Business Events.

We appreciate this is a difficult time and people and companies are worried about their finances. We have for a temporary period suspended all recovery action to reduce the pressure you are experiencing. This will allow us time to award the appropriate discounts and issue grants where applicable.

Government has confirmed a package of financial measures to support businesses. There is more detail about these reliefs and grants below.

Small Business Grant

You are eligible for a Small Business Grant if:

  • Your business is based in England
  • You are a small business and already receive small business rate relief (SBRR) and/or rural rate relief (RRR), including tapered relief
  • You are a business that occupies a property in the local rating list

For more information see: COVID-19: support for businesses

How much is the grant worth?

Businesses in the criteria above with a property that has a rateable value of up to £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

What do I do next?

If you believe you are eligible for the grant, please fill in the form below now so that any payments you receive can be paid promptly by BACS.

If eligible you will receive payment into your bank account within the next 10 working days and confirmation will be sent to your email address.

Complete a Small Business Grant application

Retail, leisure and hospitality grants

You are eligible for a retail, leisure and hospitality grant if:

  • Your business is based in England
  • Your business is in the retail, hospitality and/or leisure sector
  • Your business has a rateable value of under £51,000

For more information see: COVID-19: support for businesses

Properties that will benefit from the relief will be occupied hereditaments that are wholly or mainly being used:

  • As shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • For assembly and leisure
  • As hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Businesses that do not pay business rates are not included in this scheme.

How much is the grant worth?

All eligible businesses will receive a one-off grant of £10,000 or £25,000.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of less than £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.

Businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of between £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

What do I do next?

If you believe you are eligible for the grant, please fill in the form below now so that any payments you receive can be paid promptly by BACS.

If we have already asked you to complete the online form, please also do this now. If eligible you will receive payment into your bank account within the next 10 working days and receipt confirmation will be sent to your email address.

Complete the retail, leisure and hospitality grant application

Retail Relief

The Government has already announced the Business Rates retail discount will be increased to 50 per cent in 2020-21. To support small businesses affected by COVID-19 the Government is increasing it further to 100 per cent for 2020-21.

The relief will also be expanded to the leisure and hospitality sectors, and Non-Local Authority Childcare Providers. For ratepayers where a 50% reduction has already been applied there is no need to contact us, this will be done automatically you should receive an amended bill by 2 April 2020.

For the latest update of properties that will be eligible for 100 per cent relief see Expanded Retail Discount 2020/21 and Nursery (childcare) relief.

We are working through the Government’s eligibility list and will apply the 100 per cent relief without you needing to contact us or fill in any forms.

If you have not received an amended bill with a reduction by 3rd April 2020 but you think you may be eligible, please email business.rates@southampton.gov.uk


All occupiers of commercial properties pay business rates, called the National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR). The rate each business pays is based on the rateable value of the property and is worked out by the Valuation Office Agency, part of HM Revenue and Customs.

Pay your business rates

You will need your business rates account number to make a payment and this can be found on the left hand side of your bill under your postal address marked 'Account number'.

You can request to pay your annual business rates bill over twelve monthly instalments (April to March). Please email business.rates@southampton.gov.uk or call us on 023 8083 3002 if you wish to pay your bill over twelve months.

1. Direct Debit

Setting up a Direct Debit payment is the safest and most convenient way to pay.

You can cancel a direct debit at any time by contacting your bank or building society.

2. Payment through your bank

You can ask your bank to set up a standing order. You will need the council's bank details as follows:

  • Bank: Lloyds bank
  • Sort code: 30-00-00
  • Account number: 00332526
  • Reference: Please quote your business rates account number. Failure to do this will mean we will not be able to allocate the payment

3. Debit or credit card

Make a payment online via the eStore or by calling our 24 hour payment line on 023 8083 3001.

Your card must be registered for 3D Secure for the payment to be successful.

Our payment line accepts payments up to the value of £2000 per transaction.

Your payment will normally appear on your business rates account within two days.