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660 Brent businesses set to receive £5k in new Covid-19 support funding

5 June 2020

660 Brent businesses are set to receive £5,000 each in additional Covid-19 support funding, should Brent’s Cabinet approve a plan to distribute the money in just over a week’s time (June, 15).

Brent’s Cabinet will be asked to support a plan to distribute the £3.3m received from the Government for the Discretionary Grants Scheme - which was announced last month to provide grants to certain small businesses not eligible for other Covid-19 business grant schemes.

Under the scheme, councils must follow the mandatory criteria set by the government, but they also have some flexibility in how they choose to distribute the grants, such as the amount for each payment and how the applications will be prioritised.

Cllr Shama Tatler, Brent Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for business, said:

“I know many businesses have been struggling and we are glad that we have another scheme that can help. But the fact is the £3.3million allocated to Brent for the discretionary grants scheme is nowhere near enough what will be needed, given the expected demand for this support. 

“It puts councils in a catch-22 situation, where if you spread the money too thinly across too many businesses, it makes little or no impact, but concentrate it too finely and many in desperate need will miss out.

“We want to make sure that this money which is available goes as far as possible, and so Cabinet will be asked to consider this plan to distribute the £3.3m.

“By focussing on small businesses, limiting each payment to £5,000 and by prioritising those with more employees means that we can get more help, to more businesses and help safeguard as many jobs in Brent as possible.”

If approved by cabinet, the council will invite eligible businesses to apply for a grant during a one-week window, which is to be announced.

Applications will then be considered by a dedicated review team who will check eligibility and supporting evidence.

If, as expected, more than 660 eligible businesses apply and meet all the criteria, a ranking system will then be applied and payments made, until the £3.3m from the Government has been spent.

For more information on the Discretionary Grants Scheme and other support available, visit www.brent.gov.uk/businessgrants 

To view the paper going to Cabinet, click here.