Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions about the Covid Additional Relief Fund. If your query is not answered here, please email us.

This funding is being made available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic, but that were ineligible for previous existing support linked to business rates.

This is a business rates relief, not a grant. It will reduce the amount that you were required to pay in 2021/2022. If your business rates bill was discounted to £00.00 in 2021/2022 because you received a different rate relief, then you cannot claim CARF.

Local authorities have discretion to determine which businesses to support and how much funding to provide. However, local authorities are encouraged to support businesses that have been severely impacted by the restrictions not just directly but also due to being part of the supply chain.
CARF Eligibility Criteria

  • CARF is available to ratepayers that have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to the impact of the pandemic, but with certain exceptions.
  • To be considered for relief, a hereditament will need to have been in continuous occupation since 11 March 2020. Hereditaments which closed temporarily following Government advice on Covid will be treated as being occupied for this relief, provided they re-opened once restrictions were lifted.
  • Relief will not be awarded whether the ratepayer has received or would be entitled to support under the Extended Retail Discount, the Nursery Discount or the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme.
  • The following list sets out types of businesses that are unlikely to be eligible for relief unless they can demonstrate exceptional circumstances:     
    • financial services, e.g., banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de changes, short-term loan providers
    • medical services that continued to be open during any lockdown period e.g., vets, dentists, doctors
    • professional services e.g., solicitors, accountants, insurance agents, financial advisors
    • Post Office sorting offices
    • education establishments e.g., schools, colleges, and universities, except language schools or schools for overseas pupils
    • utilities, infrastructure, fuel, and industrial businesses e.g., communication stations, water treatment plants, energy generation plants, aggregate processing, concrete plants, petrol stations
    • hereditaments that are used as car parks, advertising hoardings, communal areas
    • hereditaments with an RV less than 15,000
    • hereditaments where the ratepayer is in administration
    • ratepayers already in receipt of, or eligible to apply for, another relief or reduction
    • hereditaments where the ratepayer is a preceptor
    • offer a further application window for new applications
    • and / or increase either the percentage awarded or cap per business.
  • This list is not exhaustive, and properties used for other or mixed purposes will be considered on an individual basis. This is because without knowing the specific operational issues affecting businesses, it would not be appropriate for the Council to define the types of business that would benefit from this scheme. Therefore, the scheme is open to applications from any business that can demonstrate they have been adversely affected by the pandemic.
  • To be considered as eligible for relief, the business must be able to demonstrate a minimum reduction of 30% in annual turnover in their 2020/21 accounts compared to the accounts for 2019/20. This reduction must be as a result of the pandemic and businesses will be asked to provide proof of this reduction and full details of:   
    • how the pandemic has affected their business, and,
    • why they were prevented from adequately adapting their business.
Supporting evidence will be required
  • The exact amount of relief to be awarded will be dependent on the number of qualifying applications and will be determined once all applications have been assessed.
  • In the event that an amount of funding remains after the initial award of relief, the Council may:
    • offer a further application window for new applications
    • and / or increase either the percentage awarded or cap per business.
  • Providing discretionary relief to a ratepayer is likely to amount to a subsidy. Therefore, any relief awarded under the CARF scheme will need to comply with the UK’s domestic and international subsidy control obligations.
  • Businesses wishing to access CARF must not have exceeded the levels of subsidy set out in either the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance rules or Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund Allowance, whichever is applicable.
Although generally there are no appeal rights in respect of discretionary reliefs, a review of an unsuccessful application will be considered if it is made in writing within 28 days of the original award decision.

To apply simply complete the online form below. You will get updates on your application directly from the business rates team.

Covid Additional Relief Fund.

A business must have been trading before restrictions came into force on 11 March 2020 to be eligible.

We require turnover/income comparison between financial years 2020/21 and 2021/22.

The scheme may remain open until 31 August 2022 but will close earlier if all available funding is exhausted before that date.

A business does not have to apply and may decline any funding.

Yes, although it is unlikely that most businesses will be affected by this. Please see details in the application form.

In accordance with the government’s guidance the council is carrying out checks to confirm the recipient is entitled to receive the funding.