What it is, who can get it, how to apply.
On 15 December 2021 the Government announced a new COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF).
What it is
This new relief is for businesses affected by the pandemic but are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates.
The relief will be granted under this policy to reduce 2021/22 business rate bills only using discretionary relief powers under section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988.
Relief of up to 100% of the business rates chargeable amount for the 2021/22 financial year will be credited direct to the rates account.
Depending on the level of demand on the fund, the amount of relief given to a business may be capped at a certain value so the fund can support as many businesses as possible.
Who can get the relief
A business may be eligible if you can show that it:
- has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and
- cannot adequately adapt to that impact
Businesses who meet the criteria of our scheme must apply for it 31 July 2022. The relief is not automatic.
Who cannot get the relief
The government rules mean that the new relief will not be given to:
- ratepayers who for the same period of the relief either are or would have been eligible for the Extended Retail Discount covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (ERHL) or the Nursery Discount, so check your eligibility for ERHL before applying for CARF
- to premises for a period when they're unoccupied, other than premises which have become closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID-19
- where the business hereditament is related to business activity only rather than for personal use (for example a hobby, pastime or personal car parking space)
- premises and land used for personal use or personal storage
- car parking spaces that are not run as a commercial business
- utilities and communications infrastructure
- central and local government and NHS infrastructure
To apply for CARF, you'll need:
- your business rates account number, it starts with '500' and you can find it on your bill or a reminder
- information about any Small Amounts of Financial Assistance subsidies you've received
- The application deadline for CARF is 31 July 2022.
We'll assess applications after this date.
If you've already submitted an application before 31 May 2022, do not apply again.
We're aiming to notify you and award the relief by the end of July 2022.
Providing discretionary relief to ratepayers is likely to amount to a subsidy. Any relief provided will need to comply with the UK’s domestic and international subsidy control obligations. Read the application form to find out more, and seek independent advice if you are not sure how this applies to you.