General national economic measures 

For an overview of economic support measures see the Ministry of Finance and Economy's page here.

-According to Reuters (see also here), at the start of the crisis in March 2020 Albania brought in economic measures totalling $370 million to cope with the impact of the coronavirus crisis. 

  • $65 million to help small businesses, the needy and those unable to work.

  • Around $100 million to support business unable to pay their employees.  

  • Penalties on delayed electricity payments worth $150 million were written off.  

  • Taxes on company profits were postponed to the second half of 2020.

 

-As part of an expanded economic package presented on 20th April 2020, 176 000 families received 4 000 lek (around 40$) each. That included 100 000 employees in small businesses affected by the situation, 66 000 employees in large businesses and 10 000 employees in the tourism sector that were not included in the first package. (source)

-Additional measures adopted in July 2020 were the abolition of value-added tax for small companies with an annual turnover below Lek 8 million (€64,000) from 2021, and a 0% profit tax for small companies with an annual turnover of up to Lek 14 million (€115,000) (source)

-As of November 3rd 2020, almost 96% of the overall budgeted direct support measures had been paid out while the take up for the first guarantee scheme was 59% and for the second scheme 42%.

-The government also adopted tax deferral measures allowing all large companies (except banks, telecommunication, public enterprises and other essential businesses) to defer payment of profit tax for the second and third quarter of 2020 to 2021. Tourism, active processing and call centers could defer payments for the rest of 2020 to 2021. Small businesses with turnover below Lek14m did not have to pay profit tax for the remainder of 2021. (source)

-In September 2020, the government launched an employment promotion programme that aimed to cover part of re-employment costs of those who lost their jobs during the lockdown. For formal sector employees the government covered half of the wages (at the legal minimum level) and the full employers’ share of social contributions for the duration of the programme (4 or 8 months). Informal sector employees who lost their jobs during the lockdown had the full cost of social contributions (employees and employers share) covered for one year if they formally requested it.

 

-The 2021 budget adopted by parliament on November 16th 2020, allocated Lek14.2bn (0.8% of GDP) in COVID-19 related spending. These included Lek7.2bn for COVID-19 treatment, Lek4.5bn for wage increases for doctors and nurses, and Lek2.5bn for a temporary increase in the payments for social assistance and unemployment benefits. (source)

- As Albania is involved in accession negotiations with the European Union since March 2020, the country can apply to EU funds open to accession countries like the EU Solidarity Fund (the fund was set up for natural disasters and now includes public health emergencies).

-In addition, the EU approved assistance for Albania via its neighbourhood programmme (part of its Western Balkans Covid-19 package worth €410m). On top of funds for healthcare systems, the EU mobilised up to €46.7 million to support the social and economic recovery of Albania. The money was spent “to support the real economy, including SMEs, and support liquidity, also of the banking sector.” 

-RUNDA (the independents music companies association for the region) called for part of these monies to be used to support music and other cultural sectors.  

 

National measures specific to the music sector or to culture in general 

 

None so far.

Health measures

Covid-19 measures and restrictions in the country can be found on the government's website.

Measures taken by local collecting society organisations 

None so far.

Business and other expected losses 

 

-UNESCO’s survey published in July 2020 found that the loss for the entire cultural sector in Albania at the time was estimated to be around EUR 218,142. 


-80% of the respondents stated that their current resources would allow them to ensure normal functioning of their businesses for less than 3 months, with only 10% saying they could remain active indefinitely. 


-The cultural and creative industry in Albania is relatively young, with half of the surveyed businesses having been active for less than 10 years at the time of the survey. 


-80% of these businesses had less than 10 employees, with 30% only having one employed person (self-employed).

Albania