COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund is now open to applications
The COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) has been made available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic, but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates for the financial year 2021/2022.
The Government guidance states that CARF is available to reduce chargeable amounts in the year 2021/2022 only and must be directed towards ratepayers who have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact. Under the criteria set by Government it is not available to the following:
- Businesses eligible to receive the Expanded Retail Discount, Nursery Discount or Airport Operations Support Scheme for the year 2021/2022
- Unoccupied businesses (other than those closed temporarily due to mandated Covid-19 restrictions) in the year 2021/2022
South Somerset District Council (SSDC) have written to several businesses who they believe to be eligible for the support. If you have received a letter you do not need to contact SSDC unless you are required to opt-out from the scheme.
The council has also launched an application method for those businesses who do not qualify under the main scheme but meet the below eligibility criteria:
- The ratepayer is not eligible (or would be eligible) for the Expanded Retail Discount (covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure), the Nursery Discount or the Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS)
- The ratepayer is not entitled to either Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief granted at 100%
- The ratepayer is not subject to Subsidy Controls (see final tab on website link)
- The ratepayer is not entitled to mandatory Business Rates Relief (80%) and discretionary top up of 20% which is funded through Business Rates Retention
- The ratepayer must be in current occupation of the hereditament (including trading from the premises) for the period Business Rates Relief is sought within the 2021/22 financial year
- The business must have been adversely affected by the pandemic and not have been able to adequately adapt to that impact
The ‘Special Cases’ scheme is open to any ratepayer who meets the above criteria. To make a formal application businesses must email email@example.com by 5.00 pm on Thursday 4 August and provide:
- Business rates number
- Description of business activist and how it has been adversely affected by Covid 19 for the required time period.
The Council will then review all applications. Funding is limited and we cannot guarantee that all businesses will be successful.
Within the South Somerset District Council CARF Discretionary Policy, we have decided the level of CARF that will be applied to individual hereditaments. The set award will be between 40-60% Business Rates Relief for the year 2021/2022, capped at £20,000. This is a one-off award, future changes in rateable value for the period may affect the amount of Business Rates Relief provided and this will be evaluated on a case by case basis.
You can find out more information at www.southsomerset.gov.uk/carf.