New guidance out on Government Covid Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

The Government has now released guidance on the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) to support businesses outside of the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors adversely affected COVID-19 and ongoing pandemic.

It will be down to the Local Authorities across England to devise their own policies and many businesses will be eager to scrutinise the finer details as soon as possible in 2022.

Guidance (which applies to England only) so far includes the following:

  • Funds are available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates, for example, expanded retail discount.
  • Local authorities will determine the level of relief which may be recalculated to reflect changes in circumstances . Relief will reduce the amount payable for 2021/22.

 Schemes must incorporate the following:

  • No relief awarded to ratepayers in receipt of any of extended retail discount, nursery discount, or airport and ground operations support.
  • Not relief awarded for unoccupied properties (temporary closures due to COVID-19 restrictions are ignored).
  • Direct support for business ratepayers adversely affected by the pandemic and unable to adequately adapt or adopt new business practices to mitigate that impact.
  • Relief is subject to subsidy control limits (formerly known as State Aid) although the higher COVID-19 subsidy control limits can apply (subject to qualifying criteria).
  • Subsidy control limits will include COVID-19 grants and other discretionary reliefs granted over the last  three years (excluding retail relief or discounts for 2020/21 and 2021/22).
  • Allocation to individual local authorities is based upon the estimated Rateable Value in each LA rating list which is covered by the scope of the fund.

The full guidance and individual local authority allocations are available here: CARF Guidance.docx (