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/delayed
 

-Federal level: Ministry of Finance website – support measures for businesses (French / Dutch / German)

Two interesting schemes at federal level:

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

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

 

-Regional level: 

  • Wallonia:

    •  Covid-19 fund (€233m fund with compensation of up to €5,000 for businesses and self-employed workers)

    • 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 have fully shut down are given a one-time compensation of €4000. If closures last past the 5th of April 2020, companies will receive an additional €160 per day of shutdown.

    • Companies/self-employed that are still open but suffering massive losses can also apply to a compensation scheme. The loss of turnover has to be at least 60% compared to the same period last year (reference period is 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    • €1 billion: Property evaluations for companies will not be published until September and company property tax payments will not be due until then.

    • €20 million: Government will pay for 100 000 employee’s utility fees (water, gas and electricity) for 1 month if they are 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 can apply for a monthly "bridging grant" (droit passerelle) of up to €1,290 (€1,614 for families), which means you don’t have to pay your social contributions for a certain period of time. More info here, and you can apply here at national level, and here for Flanders. 

 

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

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

 

-Regional level: 

  • Brussels-Wallonia:

    • It was announced on 7 April 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)

De-confinement process

Belgium announced a plan to lift lockdown in three phases. On 3rd June, Belgium's Prime Minister announced the new measures of phase 3, which include an ease of regulations as regards cultural activities:

  • From 8th June onwards, most cultural activities which don't involve an audience will be able to resume.

  • Cultural activities involving an audience will be able to resume from 1st July, with a maximum of 200 people.

  • Festivals will remain cancelled at least until 31st August.

On June 10, the basic protocol for culture was published to help the sector resume activities (see here). The protocol was determined by the minister of culture, on the basis of advice from the GEES group of experts and in consultation with the sector.

An Event Risk Matrix (ERM) is being developed which should be online on the 1st of July. Via18 questions, the matrix will tell the respondents if they can safely organise an event up to 200 people.

Measures taken by local collecting society organisations

 

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

-Authors’ society SABAM offers a solidarity contribution to Horeca establishments (see here).

Other music funds available

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

 

-Belgian Music Fund is 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 online services

No specific support for Belgium at the moment. For other initiatives by online services, click here.

Support from national radio and other media

The Belgian chart company Ultratop is pushing Belgian Music and has sent radios a list of recommendations. 
 

Social media and other campaigns to promote music during the crisis

-#PlayLocal campaign calling 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 has started the #FUNDTHEFUTUREOFMUSIC campaign (see here).

Local programmes supported by EU funds covering music

 

None so far.

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

IMPALA represents independent music companies and national associations in Europe. Our main site is www.impalamusic.org where you can find out more about what IMPALA does. 

Address: 70 Coudenberg - 1000 Bruxelles

Tel: +32 2 503 31 38

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