Business Rates Experts at Colliers International Welcome Extension of Relief.
The Northern Ireland Executive has announced an unprecedented £213m rates support package for businesses. This builds on the £100m scheme announced by the Finance Minister in March which gave all businesses a three-month rates holiday and was due to end on 30 June 2020.
The new scheme is warmly welcomed by business rates specialists at international property consultants Colliers International.
The new scheme will see those sectors hardest hit by the pandemic pay no rates for the full financial year up until 31 March 2021.
Those sectors are:
- hospitality, tourism and leisure
- retail (excluding certain supermarkets and off-licences)
- Belfast City, Belfast International and City of Derry Airports.
The rates support packages will also see all businesses received a one-month extension of the rates holiday up to 31 July 2020.
Finance Minister Conor Murphy said: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the economy. The initial rates support package helped businesses with immediate cash-flow difficulties during the lockdown. As the Executive begins to ease the restrictions which have been necessary to save lives, I am pleased to announce this new scheme which importantly provides all businesses with an extended rates holiday for July.
“Further support is then targeted at the sectors which will be in greatest need in the months ahead. This includes retail, hospitality, tourism, leisure, childcare and airports.”
David Hughes of Colliers International commented, “We are delighted that the NI Executive has decided to extend the rates holidays for certain sectors. It had been incongruous that retail, hospitality/leisure and childcare did not receive the same business rates holiday as the rest of the UK and we were particularly worried about the pub and hotel trade, many of which saw NAV rises of over 100% as a result of the NI Revaluation. We will continue to maintain a watching brief to ensure our clients benefit from any available reliefs.”
John Webber, Head of Business Rates at Colliers International said, “This announcement will be a welcome relief for many. We have been campaigning for a more equal treatment for businesses in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK for some time. We are not out of the woods yet, but at least this announcement gives such vulnerable businesses a much-needed breathing space.”