New COVID-19 funding round – eligible businesses encouraged to apply for a double discount on business rates

Businesses that experienced a downturn in trade as a result of the Covid pandemic but missed out on earlier grants or subsidies are being given a final opportunity to apply for a double discount on their business rates.

East Cambridgeshire District Council believes more than 500 businesses across the district have yet to apply for the COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) scheme.

To help provide support, it is opening a new funding window which runs until 19 August.

Funding worth £1.6 million was provided by the Government to the Council in 2021 to support businesses outside of the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors that were impacted by the pandemic.

In an effort to provide additional support, the Council is offering to double the amount of discount the Government estimates each business sector suffered as a result of the downturn in trade.

The relief will be applied as a credit to business rates for 2021/22.

All eligible businesses in East Cambridgeshire have been written to and can check eligibility and apply for the CARF funding.

East Cambridgeshire District Council has already handed out thousands of pounds worth of funding to companies struggling to survive following Covid and during the various lockdowns.

Cllr David Brown, chair of the Finance and Assets Committee, said: “As a Council we have done everything in our power to support businesses through an incredibly difficult time and this grant scheme is another avenue of help available.

“I would encourage all East Cambs businesses in the eligible sectors to make use of this vital funding by checking the criteria and applying.”

Eligible businesses that have applied for other grants should also check they have not exceeded the subsidy allowances for the COVID-19 Business Grants Scheme.

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday 19 August 2022 or earlier if all funding is awarded before this date.