Coronavirus and business rates

Business Rates Grants Schemes

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  • Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) announced (further details below)
  • All other Business Rates Grants schemes are closed and all funding has been distributed.

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Omicron hospitality and leisure grant

The business rate grant scheme to support to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses impacted by Omicron closed on 18th March 2022. Further applications are not possible.

Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

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.

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. The council has approved the level of relief payable under the CARF scheme.

We have now written to all businesses that may be eligible under the scheme to confirm they wish to be considered for the relief. As part of the CARF eligibility identification process we have assumed that eligible businesses are not subject to the subsidy limitations. If your business is not eligible due to the limitations, you  must inform us so we can remove you from the planned CARF allocation. Details of how to do this are included in the letter.

The Council will evaluate the level of funding provided once the window for businesses to opt out is closed and may, if available, seek to allocate further funding to businesses either already eligible or expand the relief to cover other sectors.


The Government has confirmed that you will not be eligible for this relief if you are:

  • in receipt of Extended Retail Discount or Nursery Discount
  • not in occupation of the business property (Unless you have been forced to close due to the Government’s advice on Covid-19)
  • not registered for Business Rates
  • already in receipt of full rates relief.

Subsidy allowance

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.

Discretionary Grant – 10 January 2022 to 4pm on 18 February 2022

Applications for Discretionary Grants for businesses that continue to be affected by Covid closed on 18 February 2022. We are now assessing the applications that have been received. We will endeavour to make payments to eligible businesses as quickly as possible. All payments will be made prior to 31 March 2022.

Lockdown 1

The business rate grant schemes for Lockdown 1 closed on 28 August 2020. Further applications are not possible.

Lockdown 2 grants (November 2020 to January 2021)

The following business rate grant schemes closed on 31 March 2021. Further applications are not possible.

Lockdown 3 grants (January 2021 to 15 February 2021)

The following business rate grant schemes closed on 31 March 2021. Further applications are not possible.

Lockdown - 16 February 2021 to 31 March 2021 

The government has announced additional grants for this period of lockdown. Applications for this grant closed on 31 May 2021.

Restart Grants

The business rate restart grants closed on 30 June. Further applications are not possible.

Discretionary Awards – 24 October 2020 to 30 June 2021

Applications for this discretionary award closed on 30 June 2021. Further applications are not possible.