Brent Council is set to give more than 600 businesses £5,000 each to help manage the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic but expects many will be left “disappointed” due to high demand.

On Monday (June 15), its cabinet approved plans on how to allocate Discretionary Funding Grants – another round of Government funding that will support businesses who missed out on support earlier in the year.

It opted to spread its £3.3 million allocation across 660 microbusinesses in the borough, which cannot have previously benefited from a support scheme aside from the Government’s furloughing programme.

They must also meet certain criteria including having fewer than ten employees, a turnover of less than £632,000 or a balance sheet less than £316,000, been trading for at least a year on March 11, and evidence of at least a 50 per cent loss of income due to Covid-19.

Applicants will then be ranked based on their situation before the council decides on who is successful and releases the funds.

Cllr Shama Tatler, responsible for business at Brent Council, said this strategy was deemed the “fairest” approach to managing the grants.

She said: “We want to make sure that this money available goes as far as possible, which is why we are focussing on small businesses.

“By taking this approach it means that we can get more help, to more businesses and help safeguard as many jobs in Brent as possible.”

She added this contribution from the Government is not enough to help all those in the borough and the council’s administration will continue to lobby for more business support.

Brent Council cabinet member Cllr Krupesh Hirani said several people had already been in touch with him about this latest scheme and he believes the council will be “inundated” with applications.

Alice Lester, an operational director at Brent Council, said the council had taken an approach that would benefit as many people as possible but still make a difference to each business.

“We know a lot of people will be disappointed if they are not eligible or they miss out, but this is the fairest way we can hand them out,” she said.

Applications can be made on Brent Council’s website, with the deadline set at 5pm on Monday (June 22).