The government announced a new COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) of £1.5 billion. The fund will be available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates. Blackpool's allocation is £2.4m.
The aim of this scheme is to provide business rates relief for the financial year 2021/22 to those who have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact.
You may be eligible for this relief if you are/were:
- Registered to pay business rates on 25 January 2022
- In occupation of the business property
- Adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact
You will not be eligible for this relief if you are/were:
- Eligible for the Extended Retail Discount or Nursery Discount
- Not in occupation of the business property
- Not registered for Business Rates or did not have an entry in the rating list on 25 January 2022
- Already In receipt of full relief (for example: the full award of small business rate relief)
This fund will take the form of a one-off business rate relief applied to your business rates account for the financial year 2021/22 but the precise percentage will not be known until the application process has closed on 20 March 2022.
We will review all of the information you have supplied and if you meet the eligibility criteria then the relief will be applied as a percentage of your net rates payable (ie after any other reliefs or discounts have been applied).
This will be followed by an adjustment notice which will be sent to your normal address or email account where you have signed up for electronic bills. If your business rates account has been placed into credit as a result of this relief then we will arrange for this to be refunded or offset across your 2022/23 bill according to your instructions when the application is made.
The CARF scheme is subject to the subsidies chapter within the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).
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 Extended Retail Discount you have received since 1 April 2020.
Read more about CARF subsidy control on the government's website.
Apply for the CARF Business Rates Relief
Applications for the CARF discount must be made by 9.00am on 20 March 2022. Applications will not be reviewed and processed after the closing date.