CARF: Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund

This new discretionary business rates relief scheme (announced on 15 December 2021) is available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates.  Eastleigh Borough Council has been given £3.1m funding to allocate to local businesses in the form of a business rate relief.

Government has introduced CARF following legislation it has passed that prevents business rates appeals on the grounds of changes to businesses’ circumstances that have arisen because of COVID-19.

The relief will be granted to businesses who were affected by COVID-19, but have not so far been eligible for rates relief. As a result locally authorities will not be able to 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).
  • Nursery Discount.
  • Airport and Ground Operations Support Scheme (AGOSS).

In order to be eligible for the CARF rates relief, businesses:

  • must have been in the rating list and “occupied” for a period of time between 1 April 2021 and the date of making an application for the relief. The exception to this is that the business did not need to be physically occupying the property when it was closed due to COVID-19 restrictions
  • must have had a business rates liability for the financial year 2021-22. Where a business’ rates bill was zero, such as if a business received the full Small Business Rate Relief, it will be ineligible for CARF
  • must have been adversely affected by the pandemic and have been unable to adequately adapt to that impact

Businesses are not eligible:

  • if during 2021-22 they were eligible for the Extended Retail Discount (covering Retail, Hospitality and Leisure), the Nursery Discount or full Small Business Rates Relief
  • if they were in liquidation, dissolved, in administration, insolvent or subject to, or under notice of, a striking-off notice
  • if they are a local authority, or other precepting authority (for example, a parish or county council) or a functional body, within the meaning of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 or Public bodies including Government departments, legislative bodies, the armed forces, fire, police, Local government including local authority owned companies
  • if occupied by NHS including NHS and Foundation Trusts, practitioner who provide services under contract to the NHS
  • if occupied by maintained schools, Academy Schools and Further / Higher Education Institutions
  • if occupied by charities in receipt of 80% relief
  • if in receipt of more than 66% SBRR
  • if premises are land/storage/ distribution facilities
  • if businesses can claim back any business rates paid (for example: from the government, or from a landlord if the tenancy agreement specifies that rent is inclusive of rates).
  • if by receiving a relief under CARF, they will exceed subsidy thresholds.
  • if their rateable value is solely for telephone masts, car park spaces, ATMs or advertising rights etc.

Full details of the scheme are available in the eligibility criteria document.

Application process

The Council has identified those businesses it considers to be eligible for this relief and have applied a 50% discount capped at £9,000 to business rate accounts.  

If you have not received notification from the Council (that we have granted you this discount) and you believe you are eligible, please email us at



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:

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’);

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;

‘Uncovered fixed costs’ means fixed costs not otherwise covered by profit, insurance or other subsidies;

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;

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;

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

Eastleigh Borough 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.