As part of the spring Budget, Chancellor Philip Hammond said pubs in England with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will get £1,000 off their business rates bill. The relief applies from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018.
However, many pubs have said they have not yet received the relief, or heard from their local authorities about when it will be paid.
Commenting on what pubs should do if they are still waiting for information on rates relief, a DCLG spokesman said: “In June, we published guidance to help councils identify eligible pubs in their area, many councils have already contacted these pubs and in some cases also reissued a bill with the £1,000 discount.
“We would encourage pubs to contact their local authority if they haven’t already heard that they are eligible for the relief.”
Responding to the DCLG’s advice, the Association of Multiple Licensed Retailers (ALMR) said it has encouraged pubs to contact their local authorities to get the money they are entitled to.
ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We are not aware of any of our members having received the relief yet and, in recent meetings, we have received feedback that a number of businesses are still waiting.”
“The ALMR also contacted the DCLG to press the issue of rates relief for eating and drinking-out businesses that are being hardest hit.
“We fed into the Government’s call for advice on implementing the relief and we have been highlighting the disproportionate rates burden being shouldered by this sector.”
Matter of urgency
Nicholls said the Government must resolve this issue “as a matter of urgency, as there is a real lack of clarity and certainty for small businesses”.
“They have struggled through the first quarter of the year without receiving the discount they were promised to help offset their massive rates bills,” she continued.
“There needs to be a stronger direction from central Government to local authorities to get this money where it is needed most as soon as possible.”