COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

The Government recently announced a new COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) of £1.5 billion to be distributed between Councils.

The fund will be available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic, that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates.

The aim of this scheme is to provide Business Rates Relief therefore reducing the chargeable amount for the financial year 2021/22 only, to those who have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to the impact.

The scheme will close at midnight on 30 September 2022. 

If you have any questions you can email our business rates team or call 01279 655261 ext. 7223 and they will be happy to assist.

You will not be eligible for this relief if you are:

  • In receipt of or would have been eligible for the Expanded retail discounts
  • In receipt of or would have been eligible for the Nursery discount
  • Not in occupation of the business property (unless you have been forced to close due to the Governments advice on COVID-19)
  • Not registered for business rates
  • Already in receipt of full rates relief
  • In liquidation or bankrupt
  • With incomplete accounts and filing with Companies House
  • A precepting authority e.g. Local Authority, Parish or County Council
  • Above the subsidy allowance  (different from grants normally £2,243,000  unless additional provisions are invoked)

The fund is limited and only available to those businesses that have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to the impact.

You must be able to provide evidence of how it has been impacted for example;

  • Bank statements showing your business activity before the pandemic and now or for the year 2021/22

If you are applying for more than one business rates account, you must complete an application for each premises in which you wish to claim.

You can still apply if you have paid your 2021/22 rates in part or full.

Businesses who were in occupation of a premise and had liability for business rates for 2021/22 and have since left the premises can still apply for the relief

To apply, you must be the ratepayer and agents cannot apply on your behalf.

The CARF scheme is subject to the subsidies chapter within the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA)

Further information can be found in the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF): Local Authority Guidance on the Gov.UK website

However, for CARF there is an exemption for subsidies under the value of approximately £2,243,000 per economic actor (broadly speaking, for example, a holding company and its subsidiaries). This allowance comprises 325,000 Special Drawing Rights (at current exchange rates about £343,000) for Small Amounts of Financial Assistance and a further £1,900,000 for COVID-19 related subsidy.

To be awarded CARF you must not have claimed over the period 2019/20 to 2021/22 more than £2,243,000 from schemes that fell within the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance or COVID-19 related allowances. COVID-19 business grants you have received from local government and the 2019/20 Retail Relief should count towards this limit, but you should not count any Expanded Retail Discount you have received since 1 April 2020.

Read more about CARF subsidy control on the Government's website.

If your circumstances change during the 2021/22 financial year or during a later financial year, then the discount you are given may need to be recalculated. This may mean that allocations may be recovered if your rateable value is subsequently reduced but no additional awards will be made if your rateable value increases.

If your application is successful we will offset this amount towards any arrears that are outstanding or towards the charge for 2022/23, unless you have arrears in which case it will be allocated towards the arrears first.