£70m available across Greater Manchester to support business impacted by pandemic – but time is running out to apply

The deadline for businesses to claim their share of financial help with business rates for those impacted by Covid-19 is approaching and thousands of businesses across the region are yet to apply.

The funding has been made available as part of a national £1.5bn Government package in response to the ongoing global pandemic and to help businesses struggling to pay their business rates.

In Manchester the deadline for the Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) is 15 April 2022 – however, the deadline is different and criteria to apply is different for each of the 10 Greater Manchester Councils and some schemes have already closed. See notes to editors for more information.

The scheme could pay up to 100% of the business rates bill for 2021/22. However, there are potentially thousands of businesses who are eligible for the payment but have not yet applied.

In Manchester, £24m has been made available to support businesses through rate relief, but currently only around 40% of the total fund could be allocated to eligible businesses.

There is similar low take up across the 10 Greater Manchester boroughs, and businesses are urged to apply as soon as possible.

Payments will be made towards a business’s 2021/22 rates bill. If the award of a relief puts the rate account into credit, the credit could be used to offset any other outstanding business rates liability, or the 2022/23 business rates bill. Alternatively, the Council will be able to provide a refund of the credit.

The types of businesses that could be eligible include:  

  • Outdoor advertising
  • Car park operators
  • Co-working spaces
  • Charities
  • Recycling businesses
  • Certain wholesale businesses
  • Language schools
  • Recruitment agencies
  • Supply chain businesses to sectors affected by the pandemic

Businesses must be able to provide evidence of how they have been adversely affected by Covid-19, for example:

  • Accounts showing your turnover before the pandemic and currently
  • Bank statements showing your business activity before the pandemic and now

The following property types are not eligible:

  • shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
  • those used for assembly and leisure
  • hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

Only businesses registered in Manchester can apply for the Manchester City Council scheme.

Joanne Roney OBE, Chief Executive of Manchester City Council, said: “We have written to nine and half thousand businesses in Manchester who we think might be eligible for this financial support. Unfortunately, fewer businesses than we would expect have come forward to claim via the fund. Rates are often a major outgoing for any business so we would urge businesses to make an application as soon as possible. We are eager to support as many businesses as possible, so don’t let time run out.”

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