COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF)

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the Government has introduced a business rates relief scheme called the Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF).

This scheme applies for the period 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022.

The scheme is subject to restrictions:

  • The scheme is only available to properties that are ineligible for the Extended Retail Relief Scheme and Nursery discount scheme (businesses ineligible due to reaching cash limits are also excluded).
  • Only businesses occupying and liable for business rates on 1 April 2021 are eligible to apply for the fund.
  • The property must be occupied. Empty properties are not eligible.
  • If there is no business rates liability for the financial year the business will not be eligible for this relief (for example the business was in receipt of 100% small business rate relief).

All eligible businesses will be identified by Chichester District Council and the relief will be awarded automatically. An application is not required. The award will be a credit against the business rates bill. No cash payments will be made. Revised bills for qualifying businesses will be issued from the week beginning 15 August 2022 with all awards being completed by 31 August 2022. If you have not received a revised bill by 5 September 2022 you must contact the taxation team at taxation@chichester.gov.uk immediately - the law requires that Chichester District Council issue all awards by 30 September 2022.

Telephone masts, car parking spaces and some advertising rights within the Chichester District will be ineligible for the relief. This list is not exhaustive and Chichester District Council may add to this list (e.g. financial institutions).

Chichester District Council has access to limited funds from the government for this scheme and it is expected that the relief is to be awarded to assist the maximum number of businesses. The level of the award to be awarded is as follows: 

Rateable value levels

% Reduction in net Rates payable

£0 to £100,000

31% (minimum award of £100)

£100,001 and over

31% (maximum award of £25,000)

Awards of less than £100 and greater than £25,000 may be made in exceptional circumstances with approval from a senior officer. Each application would be considered on its own individual merits. It will take into consideration:

  • the number of employees; 
  • potential job losses,
  • its inability to trade online; and,
  • the impact of Covid-19 including the broader impact of the business on local economic activity.

The award will be subject to government subsidy limits. If the customer does not wish to receive the relief or is not not eligible please contact the taxation at at taxation@chichester.gov.uk with the subject header "CARF refusal".

There is no formal right of appeal against an award made under this discretionary scheme. However, Chichester District Council will review any decision made under these guidelines if additional information is provided or if an error in the decision-making process has been identified. This review will be undertaken by an officer independent from the original decision.

Chichester District Council reserves the right to cancel or amend any award from the relief fund where new information is received.

By receiving Covid-19 additional relief, recipients give authority to Chichester District Council to share data for efficient system administration and to protect the public purse, subject to GDPR. This will include sharing data with West Sussex County Council and other local authorities. 

Chichester District Council will be required to share data with government departments for monitoring and other reasons.

Further information is available at  Business Rates Government CARF guidance

Autumn Statement announcement 27 October 2021

The Government has made a number of announcements as to how business rates will be changing:

  • As from April 2023 revaluations will be carried out every three years
  • There will be a new investment relief to encourage businesses to adopt green technologies like solar panels
  • There will be a new "business improvement relief". From 2023 a business will be able to make property improvements (that would potentially increase the rateable value) and pay no additional business rates for 12 months
  • The planned business rate multiplier increase for 2022/2023 will be cancelled
  • A 50% discount on businesses open to the public in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will apply in 2022/23 up to a maximum of £110,000 per business (not per property)

Budget announcement 4 March 2021

The Government has announced that the 100% Expanded Retail Relief and Nursery Relief schemes will be extended three months for the period 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021. For the period 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 the scheme will be changing as follows:

  • From 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 businesses in receipt of the Expanded Retail Relief discount will receive a 66% reduction in the amount to pay. There will be a cash cap of £2million for businesses that were required to close as at  5 January 2021 and up to £105,000 for businesses permitted to open at that date.
  • From 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 businesses in receipt of the Nursery discount will receive a 66% reduction in the amount to pay. There will be a cash cap of £105,000

Businesses may choose to  opt out of the relief schemes by emailing Chichester District Council at taxation@chichester.gov.uk.

Please note the annual business rate bills for 2021/22 will be issued in March 2021 with 100% relief up to 31 March 2022. Revised bills will then be issued in June 2021 to reflect the changes.