Lobbying for Business Rates relief for car parks during COVID-19

 

For most car park operators its major operating costs are rents and business rates and the BPA is actively lobbying the government on behalf of its members to provide clarity on the issue of business rates relief. Whilst operators are doing the right thing by following government advice, keeping car parks open, and providing free parking for NHS staff and critical care workers, their revenue is severely impacted.

Business rates relief is available for numerous properties that have been forced to close but has not been extended to car parks, many of which have revenue streams linked directly with leisure and retail business. We have worked closely with our members, including National Operators’ and local authorities, to consider all of the information and requirements provided by government and believe that most car parks - free-standing or attached - whose primary use is for retail, hospitality and leisure should be entitled to the full 12 months business rates relief holiday.

The BPA continues to speak with officials at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to urgently seek clarity on this matter. Several government schemes are available but are unsuitable for many parking operators, primarily because they do not meet the eligibility criteria or the schemes available only provide limited support, such as loans or credit. Car park revenue once lost is gone forever.