General national economic measures
*small business relief or other financial support
*company tax relief
*income support for employees
*lower interest rates (general)
*employer social security payment holiday
*tax returns and or VAT returns suspended/delayed
-The Croatian government adopted a 30bn HRK (3.9bn EUR) package to support coronavirus-hit economy on 19th March 2020. The measures included deferral of payment of income and profit tax, social, health and pension contributions by three months, with an option to be postponed by a further three months. The government announced it would also finance 100% of the costs related to the payment of minimum net wages if companies did not lay off workers
-The state-owned development bank HBOR and commercial banks committed to freeze and delay loan repayments, as well as to provide financing for working capital and for restructuring of existing loans. It also announced it would allow for moratoriums and loan extensions on debts, as well as new liquidity loans to assure basic expenses of businesses. The total value of the measures is estimated at around HRK 13.5 billion.
-After the first round of measures in March 2020, the government introduced a wider range of measures at the beginning of April that are open to more small businesses. The measures vary depending on the income loss compared with the same period the year before.
-On 1st April 2020, the Government announced an exemption on payment of income tax and contributions for entrepreneurs with an annual income of less than HRK 7.5 million (representing 93% of firms), whose revenue declined by more than 50%. Companies with an annual income above the threshold were partially exempted. On 20th October, the Government announced the continuation of this measure, as well as its extension to other sectors of activity which weren't previously included (agriculture, fishing, transport, and others).
More info about the second package here.
-In late June 2020, the government announced that it would support the preservation of jobs through part-time work for the second half of the year. (source)
National measures specific to the music sector or to culture in general
-Self-employed artists can benefit under certain conditions from the second package of general economic measures mentioned above.
-For most of the postponed and cancelled concerts and events it is possible to get a refund if the concert is cancelled or if the new date doesn't work for the person who purchased the ticket. There is an initiative from promoters to offer vouchers (similar for cancelled travel arrangements etc.) for all postponed and cancelled concerts but as of November 2020 this was yet to be approved by the government.
-The government released measures to support employment for companies from the cultural and creative sector that experienced a monthly decrease of income of 60% or more compared with the same month in 2019.
-The Croatian Small Business Agency (HAMAG-BICRO) provides loans to support working capital of small businesses. As of November 2020, around 900 businesses had benefited, representing a sum of HRK 343 million (EUR 95 million).
Measures taken by local collecting society organisations
-HDS Solidarity fund: here
-HDS ZAMP provided public lending fees to more than 1500 writers, translators and illustrators (see here)
-A fund for music shops has also been created.
-ZAPRAF created a special fund of 1 million HRK to offer financial aid to its members affected by the Covid crisis.
-HUZIP, the Croatian performers’ association has set up some measures to help its most affected members (see here).
Other music fund available
-As of November 2020, social funds from performers unions were available as well as advances for performers depending on their yearly income.
-The Croatian Employment Service (CES) offers assistance to entrepreneurs and independents from the cultural and creative sectors (see here).
-Assistance from the Croatian Music Union (see here).
Support from online services
No specific support for Croatia so far. For more initiatives by online services, click here.
Support from national radio and other media
From the 125 radio stations in Croatia, 90 increased their airplay of local music.
Social media and other campaigns to promote music during the crisis
Appeal for more airplay of local artists and music (see here).
Quarantine sessions: #karantenasessions (see here).
Others: "Music against panic". "Stay home. Listen to local music". "Streaming concerts from homes".
Local programmes supported by EU funds covering music
According to the Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, the European Commission is enabling the use of 174 million euro of liquid funds, which Croatia will use to make faster payments on projects co-financed by the EU. See here.
Business and other expected losses
-The Association of music event organisers sent a public call to save workplaces, due to insurmountable losses in the live sector.
-Job losses and lower income from neighbouring rights expected in 2021. Physical sales were down in Q2 as result of shops being closed.
-A joint survey was conducted by RUNDA, the association of music independents for the Balkans, the Croatian Phonographic Association and ZAPRAF (Association for Protection, Collection and Distribution of Phonogram Producers’ Rights) to assess the early loss (see here). Survey results can be accessed here.