Hospitality must be at the forefront of discretionary relief

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The ALMR has cautioned that licensed hospitality businesses not eligible for sector-specific relief, particularly restaurants, must be at the forefront of the Government’s plans for discretionary business rates relief.

The ALMR has also urged the Government to finalise and implement the scheme at the earliest opportunity to provide clarity and support for businesses.

At this year’s Spring Budget, the Government announced a £300 million discretionary rates relief fund for local authorities. The Department for Communities and Local Government has been consulting on the administration and implementation of the scheme.

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The Government took some much-needed steps to help support pubs with their rates bills, introducing sector-specific relief. There are still, however, a considerable number of licensed hospitality businesses, particularly restaurants, not eligible for relief.

“The ALMR has been urging its members to contact their local authorities and MPs to ensure that restaurants are at the forefront of decision-makers’ minds when it comes to the discretionary relief. The ALMR’s submission has emphasised this and called on the Government to follow-up its positive initial support by providing relief for those other businesses that need it most.

“This is particularly important considering that a massive number of appeals decisions remain outstanding; combined with the fact that businesses have already received their bills but many will not be sure if they will be receiving discretionary relief.

“The Government needs to move quickly to bolster confidence for businesses and support those hardworking businesses currently at a disadvantage.”