Tesco to repay £585m Covid business rates relief

Tesco has announced its decision to repay the £585m it received in business rates relief as support during the Covid pandemic.

The supermarket chain described the financial support from the government as a “game-changer” which ensured customers had access to the essentials they needed.

Tesco said that “every penny” had been spent on its response to the pandemic, which it estimates will cost the group around £725m in total this year.

Business rates relief was extended to all retailers as part of a package of measures announced by the government in March.

Tesco said that its business had proved resilient and that “the potential risks faced earlier in the year are now behind us.”

John Allan, Tesco chairman, said: “The board has agreed unanimously that we should repay the rates relief we have received. We are financially strong enough to be able to return this to the public, and we are conscious of our responsibilities to society. We firmly believe now that this is the right thing to do, and we hope this will enable additional support to those businesses and communities who need it.”

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