What happened and why The pandemic has taken a toll on many sectors and despite the toilet-paper spending spree triggered by the first lockdown, the UK government's business rates relief has come in handy to all businesses, including UK's largest supermarkets: Tesco, Morrisons et al. But in the spirit of Christmas... they've decided it's time to give back... over £1.7bn to be more precise. Tesco 'bellwether'ed the rates relief return to the UK Government... Big money... UK's largest supermarket, Tesco, announced a £585m repayment to cover the support received due to the pandemic - ahead of a £5bn return in dividends.Controversy... Supermarkets, had to defend their decision to accept the Government's business relief rates back in March. The criticism spurred mainly from plan to continue to pay dividends to investors (again... while accepting the business rates relief.. *cough cough) and their constant status of essential retailers throughout the length of the pandemic. 🧮 Others followed in their steps adding up to the over £1.7bn to be soon remunerated...Sainsbury's: £440m said to be returned, with another £40m to be held for their Argos stores, which remained under lock throughout the pandemic.Morrisons: £274mAldi: over £100mAsda: £340m | The Takeaway Some have not joined the repayment wagon just yet... John Lewis, owner of Waitrose, made no plans for any returns just yet. With their main revenue stream, the John Lewis-branded stores, closing time and again with each lockdown, the high-end department store owner's counting on the Government's help to make it to the finish line of this world crisis.