Harris Lamb has been liaising with concerned clients within the industrial and office sector as the Government’s lockdown of the UK commenced.
Business specialists within the company have been assisting clients with applications for empty rates and Section 44A relief amongst other measures in a bid to help firms safeguard themselves.
Andrew Hulbert, Director of the Business Rates team, said: “There has been a lot of reassurance from the Government for those within the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, but we’ve had a lot of concerned calls from clients working within the office and industrial sectors regarding their position.
“As such we’re now in daily contact with clients with office-based and industrial businesses offering guidance and support. This ranges from helping apply for Empty Rates Relief, which sees business rates waived for up to three months for those in the office sector and up to six months within the industrial sector and provides 100 per cent relief. We can then provide support with re-occupation periods and, should it be necessary, further empty rates to suit the business.
“We’re also advising on Hardship Relief, for those businesses which have been thrown into financial difficulty by the Covid-19 outbreak and response, and are applying for Section 44A relief for a number of industrial clients who are currently unable to work to capacity and have had to scale back their operations as a result. While this is a discretionary relief decided by local authorities, in light of the current situation we’re expecting councils to be amenable to such applications,” he added.
A number of other assistant measures have been introduced by the Government including the assurance that it will pay 80 per cent of staff wages, the deferral of VAT and tax payments and the covering of statutory sick pay.
Andrew added: “Like everyone during this difficult time, we are hoping that we get through the coming weeks with minimal upheaval and long-term impact. We are doing our level best to support all of our clients to help them do just that.”