COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) for 2021-22

Applications for this scheme has now closed

Following the passing of the Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Act 2021 on 15 December 2021, the Government has launched the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) to support businesses affected by the pandemic who are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates (such as previous COVID related reliefs) in the 2021/22 financial year. The Council has now set it's CARF scheme, review the full report for further information.

Who is eligible

A business must have had a business rates charge to pay in the 2021/22 financial year (after other reliefs have been applied) and:

  • Have not been awarded (or eligible) for the Expanded Retail Discount (covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure), the Nursery Discount or the Airport and Grounds Operations Support Scheme
  • Have been in occupation (other than temporary periods due to forced COVID-19 governments restrictions). For the purposes of this scheme, intermittent occupations of 6 weeks or more are excluded from CARF
  • Can evidentially demonstrate that they have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact
  • Have not exceeded the subsidy control limits (see below)
  • Have applied within the application window of 1 March to 31 March 2022

Who is not eligible

  • Businesses that do not have a charge to pay in the 2021/22 financial year
  • Businesses in receipt of, or eligible for, the Expanded Retail Discount and the Nursery Discount
  • Businesses that do not have a charge to pay due to the awarding of other reliefs, e.g. small business rates relief, charitable relief, discretionary relief etc.
  • Businesses that are not in occupation (or are in intermittent occupation) in the 2021/22 financial year
  • Businesses who have already received the maximum permitted subsidy allowances
  • Businesses that are in administration, insolvent or where a striking-off notice has been made

Funding

As the government funding is limited, the amount of relief to be awarded to successful applicants will be determined once the application window has closed. Each case will be treated on its own merits with consideration to the number of applications received during the application window, the business type, the financial adverse impact of Covid in 2021-22 when compared to non-Covid years, and the maximum funding allocation limit. Businesses will be notified in due course after the 1 April 2022 of the outcome of their application.

Any award of CARF will be credited, initially to the 2021-22 business rates account, then any outstanding bills starting with the 2022-23 financial year, unless the ratepayer specifically requests a refund.

Before you start

You will need the following information to complete the application form:

  • Your Business Rates Account Reference Number (this will be on your most recent bill)
  • A copy of your last two most recent audited accounts
  • Supporting evidence demonstrating how your business has been adversely affected by Covid-19 in 2021-22 and why the business has been unable to adequately adapt

Fraud

You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain this relief.

Any relief made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as may any reliefs paid in error.

COVID-19 Business Grant Subsidy Allowances

The EU State Aid rules no longer apply to subsidies granted in the UK following the end of the transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020. Under the Withdrawal Agreement, the State Aid rules continue to apply during a transition period, subject to regulation by the EU Commission. Find out more about organisation rules on subsidies, and other international commitments.

There are three subsidy allowances for the COVID-19 Business Grant Schemes set out below: Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance, the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance and the COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance.

Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance

Grants may be paid in accordance with Article 364(4) of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which enables an applicant to receive up to a maximum level of subsidy without engaging Chapter 3 of the TCA. This allowance is up to 325,000 Special Drawing Rights, to a single economic actor over a rolling period of three fiscal years (the “Relevant Period”), which is the equivalent of £335,000 as at 2 March 2021. An applicant may elect not to receive grants under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and instead receive grants only using the below allowances available under this scheme.

COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance

Where the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance has been reached or an applicant has elected not to receive a grant under this allowance, grants may be paid in compliance with the Principles set out in Article 366 of the TCA and in compliance with Article 364(3) of the TCA under the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance (subsidies granted on a temporary basis to respond to a national or global economic emergency). For the purposes of the COVID-19 Business Grant Schemes, this allowance is £1,900,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any grants previously received under other COVID-19 Business Grant Schemes using the COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance and any State aid previously received under Section 3.1 of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework across any other UK scheme. This may be combined with the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance to equal £2,235,000 (subject to the exact amount applicable under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance using the Special Drawing Right calculator, and any other support an applicant has received under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance in the Relevant Period).

COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance

Where an applicant has reached its limit under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance and COVID-19 Business Grant Allowance, it may be able to access a further allowance of funding under the COVID-19 Business Grant Schemes of up to £10,000,000 per single economic actor, provided the following conditions are met:

  1. The Special Allowance covers only the applicant’s uncovered fixed costs incurred during the period between 1 March 2020 and the date of application, including such costs incurred in any part of that period (‘eligible period’);
  2. Applicants must demonstrate a decline in turnover during the eligible period of at least 30% compared to the same period in 2019. The calculation of losses will be based on audited accounts or official statutory accounts filed at Companies House, or approved accounts submitted to HMRC which includes information on the applicant’s profit and loss;
  3. ‘Uncovered fixed costs’ means fixed costs not otherwise covered by profit, insurance or other subsidies;
  4. The grant payment must not exceed 70% of the applicant’s uncovered fixed costs, except for micro and small enterprises (for the purposes of this scheme defined as less than 50 employees and less than £9,000,000 of annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet), where the grant payment must not exceed 90% of the uncovered fixed costs;
  5. Grant payments under this allowance must not exceed £10,000,000 per single economic actor. This allowance includes any subsidies previously received in accordance with Section 3.12 of the European Commission’s Temporary Framework or previously received under the COVID-19 Business Grant Schemes using this COVID-19 Business Grant Special Allowance; all figures used must be gross, that is, before any deduction of tax or other charge;
  6. Grants provided under this allowance shall not be cumulated with other subsidies for the same costs.

An applicant must be able to provide the necessary documentation to demonstrate it is eligible for funding.

Data sharing

Trafford Council will use your data for the processing of your COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund application and also to provide data to government in accordance with their requirements.

We may check the information you provide or the information about you which somebody else provides, with other details we hold. If the law allows us, we may also receive information from other people or organisations or give information to them to check the accuracy of records, to prevent or detect crime, or to protect public funds in other ways.

All information is processed in accordance with the Council’s data protection policy.

Application process

The application window has now closed.