Published: Tuesday, 22nd March 2022
The borough council has today announced a further £2.64m scheme to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic which have not been eligible for other schemes – and they won’t even have to apply.
The COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) scheme is a government scheme that allows local councils to design tailored relief schemes for local businesses who have not been eligible for existing schemes.
Leader of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, Stuart Dark MBE, said: “This is a fantastic further opportunity for us to help 700 local businesses who have had to cope with the effects of the pandemic and it will take the total support package we have given to businesses in the borough over the past two years to well over £80million.
“We have been able to commit to reducing business rates bills for these businesses by over a quarter for the current year, meaning they can devote more of their cash flow to recovery from the impact of COVID-19.
The borough council’s CARF relief policy awards a 28% reduction to eligible ratepayers on their 2021/2022 business rates bill. To stay within the government funding rules there is also a relief cap of £25,000 per property. The relief will be awarded in March 2022 and revised bills sent to eligible ratepayers.
CARF relief will be awarded to the business who is the ratepayer for a property on 31 January 2022 and will reduce the bill for days the property is occupied. CARF relief cannot be given for any days the property is empty. Certain properties which have not been adversely affected by the pandemic are also excluded.
Many businesses will have already paid their business rates bills for the current year. Due to the timing of the government announcement the scheme could not be implemented any sooner, however refunds of any overpaid amounts will be offered to businesses.
The CARF Relief fund was announced by government in December 2021 and funding was paid in March 2022. The government guidance is available here.
More information is available here.