General national economic measures

 

*company tax relief

*VAT relief

*income support for employees

*income support for freelance workers

*unemployment relief

*employer social security payment holiday

*loan repayment holiday

*mortgage payment holiday

*tax returns and or VAT returns suspended/delaye

Two interesting schemes at federal level:

  • Carry-back scheme: losses in 2020 could be measured against profits of 2019

  • Carry forward scheme: losses in 2020 could be measured against profits in the 3 years to come (if 85% of the employment cost of 2019 remains)

 

-Regional level: 

  • Wallonia:

    • An emergency fund of €50m to support sectors directly impacted by the confinement measures (schools, culture, etc.).

    • Emergency loan instrument for cultural and creative enterprises. 

  • Flanders – see dedicated page

    • Companies that had fully shut down were given a one-time compensation of €4000. If closures lasted past the 5th of April 2020, companies could receive an additional €160 per day of shutdown.

    • Companies/self-employed that were still open but suffering massive losses could also apply to a compensation scheme. The loss of turnover had to be at least 60% compared to the same period last year (reference period was March 14, 2020 to April 30, 2020). See here

    • €100 million worth of publicly guaranteed loans of up to 12 months to be taken out before the end of the calendar year.

    • €1 billion: Property evaluations for companies were not published before September 2020 and company property tax payments were not due until then.

    • €20 million: Government paid for 100 000 employee’s utility fees (water, gas and electricity) for 1 month who were facing technical unemployment.

  • Brussels (FAQ, see point 2 for measures for businesses and self-employed workers, including 4,000€ compensation, city tax relief)

 

More info : 

Self-employed workers could apply for a monthly "bridging grant" (droit passerelle) of up to €1,290 (€1,614 for families), which means social contributions didn't have to be paid for a certain period of time. More info here, applications here at national level, and here for Flanders. 

 

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

-The music sector could benefit from the above-mentioned general measures. 

 

-Regional level: 

  • Brussels-Wallonia:

    • It was announced on 7 April 2020 that culture would receive €8,4m from the above mentioned €50m emergency fund for sectors most impacted by the confinement measures. 

    • Information on mobility aid for cultural actors (see here)

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

 

-In 2020, authors’ society SABAM granted access to a reserve fund of over €18m to its members. (see here)

-In 2020, authors’ society SABAM offered a solidarity contribution to Horeca establishments (see here).

Other music funds available

-PlayRight+: Eme​rgency social fund for performers. (see here)

 

-Belgian Music Fund, a co-creation of Galm, Facir, Sabam For Culture and PlayRight+ , supported by the King Baudouin Foundation. The Fund is meant to support musical creation, production, exploitation (marcom & PR), presentation, internationalisation and export. (More here)

Support from national radio and other media

The Belgian chart company Ultratop pushed Belgian Music and sent radios a list of recommendations. 
 

Social media and other campaigns to promote music during the crisis

-#PlayLocal campaign called on media to promote more Belgian music/artists and for music fans to listen to them.  

-#UnitedForLiveMusic campaign and fund to support the live music sector https://www.live2020.be/

-Belgian Music Fund started the #FUNDTHEFUTUREOFMUSIC campaign (see here).

Business and other expected losses

Still under evaluation. The Brussels-Wallonia Federation launched a survey to assess the situation in the music sector, a newsletter to keep people informed of measures put in place, and an email address for enquiries. 

Belgium's Covid economic task force - the "Economic Risk Management Group" - found that the "arts, entertainment & recreation" sector is the hardest hit (-92% turnover) by the Covid measures, ahead of the catering industry (-83%) and trade (-59%). See here and here.

For more info

Belgian Independent Music Association - https://www.bima.be - info@bima.be

Belgium