The Budget on the 3rd of March 2021 is due to set out whether measures to support businesses both with relief from Business Rates in the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors as well details surrounding the furlough scheme that was put in place to protect jobs. There continue to be calls for the level of the multiplier to be reduced. The Fundamental Review of Business Rates outcome was anticipated in Autumn 2020 but has been delayed to Spring 2020. The introduction of Check, Challenge and Appeal, from April 2017, remains problematic for many larger ratepayers and indeed their agents. The process of registering, claiming and moving through the check stage saw a significant increase in numbers during Q3 2020 and this in turn has seen a more recent increase in challenges. Part of the increase can be attributed to Material Changes in Circumstances both due to the impact seen in many “localities” from measures to promote social distancing but also closure of premises to comply with the Health Protection regulations. The Revaluation planned for 2021 was delayed and is now due to take place from April 2023 based on an Antecedent Valuation Date of 1st April 2021 and this is likely to be problematic for the Valuation Office Agency who undertakes the statutory assessment as not only is the market generally subdued but the exercise in requesting and collating the data is in fact been undertaken over a short period of 18months whereas normally they would have at least two years. All these issues are the subject of detailed consideration by the Accessible Retail Board so as to inform its response to the decisions to be made by Government. If you have concerns or want to raise particular issues then please do contact the Law and Research sub group.