Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

On 15th December 2021 the Government announced a new Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF).

The fund is available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates.

How much funding will be provided to Burnley businesses?

Burnley Borough Council has access to limited funds from the government for this scheme.

Burnley Borough Council’s CARF scheme awards a maximum 28% relief on the business rates payable for the period 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022. Any awards are capped at a maximum of £25,000 per business.

We have identified businesses that qualify and will be writing to them soon. If you qualify and your business rates account has been paid in full for 2021/22, a credit has been applied to your account and carried forward to reduce your instalments for the current period.

If you qualify and have arrears for this period, a credit has been applied to your account and the relief will reduce the amount you owe by 28% for the period 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022.

New bills will start to be issued from 16th May 2022 showing the Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund CARF awards

In order for the COVID19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) to benefit the maximum number of businesses, the amount of relief awarded is capped at £25,000 for each business on the rating list covering the geographical area of Burnley Borough Council.

For example, a business owns 3 hereditaments each with a rateable value (RV) of £51,000.  The amount of relief to be awarded for each hereditament would be £14,280 (28% of the RV).  As the business owns 3 hereditaments the total amount of relief to be awarded would exceed the £25,000 cap per business.   

The business would therefore be required to complete an application form to demonstrate need. Applications are being sent out by email to these businesses. If you have received an email with an application form, then please complete and upload your form.

For businesses under the £25,000 cap, new bills are being issued during the week commencing 16 May 2022.

Which types of business should the COVID19 Additional Relief Fund prioritise?

The government guidance issued on 15th December 2021 gives Councils discretion over the COVID Additional Relief Fund, and their decisions on the awarding of relief as part of the Fund will be final.

Scope and 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:-

a. must not award relief to ratepayers who for the same period of the relief (eg for the period from the 1st April 2021 to the 31st March 2022) 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. must not award relief to a hereditament for a period when it is unoccupied (other than hereditaments which have become unoccupied temporarily due to the government’s advice on COVID-19), and

c. should direct their support towards ratepayers who have been adversely affected by the pandemic (in a way that prevents success or development; harmfully or unfavourably) 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 or to a precepting authority (e.g. Town Council, Parish).

Burnley’s CARF scheme excludes funding for telephone masts, storage pods and containers, cemeteries, public bodies and advertising rights.

To be eligible for relief under Burnley’s CARF scheme you must be (or have been) a ratepayer liable and occupying the property for business rates within the geographical area covered by Burnley Borough Council during the financial year 2021/22 (for a period of a day or more) as at the 1st April 2021. If you moved in after this date you will not qualify for help under the scheme.

If there is no business rates liability or other business rates relief (other than transitional relief or small business rates relief with a rateable vale greater than £12k) already granted to the business during the relief period, the business will not be eligible for this relief.

Downloads

  • icon representing a file CARF Relief Acceptance Form - £25K Award Form to be completed to accept an award of £25K offset against business rated under the Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund CARF £25K Acceptance Form.docx
  • icon representing a file CARF Declaration Form - Refusal of Award Form to be completed to refuse an award under the Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund CARF Declaration Form.docx
  • icon representing a file CARF Government Guidance This guidance sets out the scope of CARF and the criteria which local authorities should have regard to when determining awards from the fund. CARF_LA_Guidance.pdf

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