Support for businesses

COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund


COVID-19 has presented a significant and unprecedented challenge for businesses. Since the start of the pandemic the Government’s response to support businesses has been of a similarly unprecedented scale. The Government has provided over £400 billion of direct support to the economy during this financial year and last, which has helped to safeguard jobs, businesses and public services in every region and nation of the UK through the pandemic. The Government’s support has included making £16 billion available to provide business rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure properties, given the direct impact of COVID-19 and the Government’s interventions on businesses in these sectors.

Please note the relief awarded is only applicable for the 2021/22 financial year.

General Eligibility 

Billing authorities will be responsible for designing the discretionary relief schemes that are to operate in their areas. However, in developing and implementing their schemes local authorities must, if they are funding the relief from the section 31 grant:

a. not award relief 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), the Nursery Discount or the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS).

b. not award relief to a hereditament for a period when it is unoccupied (other than hereditaments which have become closed temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID-19, which should be treated as occupied for the purposes of this relief), and

c. direct their support towards ratepayers who have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact.

In line with the legal restrictions in section 47(8A) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, billing authorities may not grant the discount to themselves, certain precepting authorities (e.g. a parish or county council) or a functional body, within the meaning of the Greater London Authority Act 1999.

It will be for local authorities to determine the level of relief for individual hereditaments.

In your application for CARF you must indicate:

  • if you have not to date received any subsidy which fell within the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance or COVID-19 related allowances, confirm this in your application, or 
  • if you have received other such subsidies, then you should provide the name and total value of those subsidies. 

You must not apply for CARF using this form if you have already exceeded the £2,243,000 allowance. However, we will still consider applications for support under the CARF scheme if you have reached this limit provided you can evidence that you:

  • Intend to use the support to fund uncovered fixed costs (costs not covered by profits for insurance etc) during the period of COVID-19. Economic actors may claim for up to 90% of their uncovered costs (although this 70% limit does not apply to small businesses with less than 50 employees and less than £9 million turnover), and 
  • have shown a decline in turnover of at least 30% within the April 2020 to March 2021 period, compared to the same 2019 to 2020 period. 

You may claim up to a further £10 million of additional allowance (on top of the £2,243,000) if you meet the above tests and you have not claimed any other support from the additional allowance up to an aggregate £10 million limit (such as from the COVID-19 business grants).

Covid19 Additional Relief Fund application