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Colliers advise all Rate Payers to declare their work and office locations closed

20 03 20 Rate Payers to declare closed

In light of Government announcements today, Colliers advise all rate payers to declare their work and office locations empty and claim appropriate reliefs from 21st March.

Following the Chancellor’s announcement this evening that all restaurants, pubs, bars, nightclubs, theatres, cinemas and gyms must close for business, such firms are eligible to claim empty rates relief from tomorrow until 31st March, according to Colliers Business Rates team.

The prohibition by law, which starts from Saturday 21st 2020, means that such properties cannot be occupied. As the recently announced 12-month period of rates relief for the sector does not apply until 1st April, all ratepayers in these categories will therefore be eligible for empty rates relief from tomorrow until 31st March 2020.Since March rate bills will have already been paid, Colliers advises such businesses to apply for refunds for these extra days until the end of the month. And as occupation of the categories is now prohibited by law, Colliers believe that State Aid will no longer be an issue.

Turning to other sectors, Colliers also believes that given the advice regarding groups not assembling and people working from home, the implication is that businesses should declare that their offices and work locations empty.They can then request the appropriate relief on these from tomorrow also.

Commenting, John Webber, Head of Business Rates said, “Despite 100% business rates relief given to the retail and leisure sectors from April 2020, these businesses are going to be hard pressed to keep their heads above water in the weeks ahead. We sympathise with our clients and advise them to claim every day of rates relief that they can.

“We also acknowledge there is clarity for some other sectors who can now also make claims for relief on virtue of being empty. We advise all our clients to do so and not to pay their rate bills as of April 1st.

"We applaud the Government for the support it is trying to give to business in this difficult time, but it is clear that still much more needs to be done, particularly to help the wider business market, and we would urge the grant of a six months rates holiday for all businesses."

He added, We have also been advised that guidance on the package of grants that was to have been made available today, will now be pushed back to early next week. This certainly won’t be the end of the measures the government is going to have to make in the difficult days ahead.”

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John Webber

Head of Rating



I have over 35 years’ experience in the rating industry and lead a 135 plus rating team at Colliers.  When I took over responsibility for the team in 2005, it consisted of only a dozen people and has now grown into one of the leading rating advisory teams in the country.  I am a member of Colliers' UK Management Executive as well as sitting on the company’s Balance in Business Committee. 

I am regularly called upon by the national media to give my views on a range of business rates issues and I am involved in lobbying MPs/ministers and senior civil servants on business rates matters.

I started my career in the Valuation Office Agency in Kidderminster.  I joined Gerald Eve in 2000 where I spent 10 years before moving to Gooch Webster (now Colliers). I sit on the National Retail Panel of Rating Surveyors Association which provides guidance on how the RSA town committees work with the VOA and valuation matters.  I have also held the postion as Chair of the RICS Rating Diploma Committee having passed the prestigious qualification in 2014. I currently sit on the Rating Surveyors Association National Committee .

Along with Philip Harrison we founded 'Accurates' in 2007, the Collier's Compliance and Audit team, which although forms an integral part of the Rating team is now a leading brand in its own right.

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Suzy Simpson

Head of Content, Communications and PR


London - West End

As Head of Content, Communications & PR for Colliers in the UK, I am responsible for driving the strategic direction of corporate communications, media relations, and the programming and production of multi-channel content to engage external and internal audiences across the UK.

Get in touch for help with: 

  • Content Communication Strategy 
  • Media Relations
  • Corporate & Internal Communications
  • Media Training & Personal Brand Training


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