Manchester City Council

Business & investment Discounts and exemptions

Retail discount 2019/20

Business Rates retail discount in 2019/20

Retail discount is a discretionary discount for occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

This discount will be automatically applied to the majority of eligible properties in April 2019. 

New occupiers and occupiers of newly created properties can apply for this discount by downloading the application form linked at the end of this page and completing and returning to the Business Rates office. Applications must be received in sufficient time to enable a decision to be made and within 6 months of the end of the financial year concerned. 

The total amount of discount available is one third of the net amount of business rates chargeable.

We will consider each award based on individual merits and reserve the right to decline an application, or withdraw an award, where the retail property and business does not support our wider objectives or is determined to be having a detrimental impact on the neighbourhood or community (for example, some of the businesses that may be affected are marked with an * in the lists).

Eligible retail properties descriptions

For the purposes of this discount we consider shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments to mean:

1. Retail properties that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public:

  • Shops (such as: florist, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licence*, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets and so on) 
  • Charity shops 
  • Opticians 
  • Post offices 
  • Furnishing shops/display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing) 
  • Car/caravan show rooms 
  • Second hand car lots 
  • Markets 
  • Petrol stations 
  • Garden centres 
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)


2. Retail properties that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Hair and beauty services (such as: hair dressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops and so on) 
  • Shoe repairs/key cutting 
  • Travel agents 
  • Ticket offices e.g. for theatre 
  • Dry cleaners 
  • Launderettes 
  • PC/TV/domestic appliance repair 
  • Funeral directors 
  • Photo processing 
  • DVD/video rentals 
  • Tool hire 
  • Car hire

3. Retail properties that are being used for the sale of food and/ or drink to visiting members of the public:

  • Restaurants 
  • Takeaways*
  • Sandwich shops 
  • Coffee shops 
  • Pubs*
  • Bars*

This is not a complete list. If you think you may qualify, please apply.

Ineligible retail properties descriptions

The list below sets out the types of uses that we don't consider to be retail use for the purpose of this discount.

1. Retail properties that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers) 
  • Other services (e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies) 
  • Medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors) 
  • Post office sorting office

2. Retail properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.

3. Retail properties that do not support our wider objectives or have a detrimental impact on neighbourhoods and communities.

How it works 

Eligibility for retail discount and the discount itself will be assessed and calculated on a daily basis. The retail discount will be applied against the net bill after all other reliefs.

Where the net rate liability for the day after all other reliefs but before retail discount, is less than the retail discount, the maximum amount of this discount will be no more than the value of the net rate liability.

Ratepayers that occupy more than one property will be entitled to discount for each of their eligible properties, subject to state aid limits.

How to apply

Download a retail discount claim form or contact us to get a copy. Return your completed form to Business Rates Service, PO Box 3, Manchester, M15 5BA or fax: 0161 274 7215.

National Non-Domestic Rates Policy document - areas of local discretion

State aid regulations and business rate discounts

Go to for information about state aid.

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