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 30 bln kuna (3.9 bln euro) package to support coronavirus-hit economy on 19th March. The measures include 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 will also finance 100% of the costs related to the payment of minimum net wages if companies do 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.
After first round of measures in March, 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.
When the company earned 50% less compared to last year, it doesn’t have to pay taxes added to each salary. When the loss is between 20-50% of what was earned last year, it gets a tax suspension for next 3 months. This measure is for small businesses only that have a yearly income of less than 1M euro. All employees who work for the companies that are entitled to these measures get a 500 euros minimum wage secured from national budget.
Self-employed artists can be included upon certain conditions.
More info about the second package here.
National measures specific to the music sector or to culture in general
-For most of the postponed and canceled concerts and events there is a chance 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 this still hasn’t been approved by the government.
-The government released a measure to support employment for companies from the cultural and creative that experience a monthly decrease of income of 60% or more compared with same month in 2019.
The Croatian government launched a lockdown exit strategy in several phases:
Phase 1 started at the end of April included opening of all stores except the ones that operate within shopping malls. 15 people (over 100m2) can be at the same time in one store (or number equal to the size of store in m2 divided by 7).
All record stores reopened as a consequence as well as craft service stores, (like photo studios, shoe repair stores, tourist agencies etc.) all libraries, museums, book shops, galleries etc., were open.
Phase 2 (from beginning of May) included the opening of more shops (barber shops, hairdresser, etc).
Phase 3 (from 11 May) Included:
-Opening of shopping mall with strict epidemiological measures.
-Opening of bars and restaurants, with limitations
-Opening of kindergartens and primary schools.
-Public gathering limited to 10 people max.
All public events are still suspended. Various groups and associations from the music and events industry are suggesting to start with public events on the open for a limited number of people (100-500 depending on space / all seated) from June 1st. Cinemas, theatres, clubs are to be closed until further notice.
The government plans to reopen borders for tourists from June 1st depending on the situation.
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: here
A fund for music shops has also been created.
HUZIP, the Croatian performers’ association has set up some measures to help its most affected members: https://www.huzip.hr/index.php?opt=item&act=blog&id=2&lang=hr
Other music fund available
There are only social funds from performers unions at the moment and advances for performers depending on their yearly income.
Croatian Employment Service (CES) assistance to for entrepreneurs and independents from the cultural and creative sectors: here
Assistance from the Croatian Music Union: 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 125 radio stations in Croatia, 90 already increased their airplay of local artists music.
Social media and other campaigns to promote music during the crisis
Appeal for electronic media for more airplay of local artists: https://hdu.hr/2020/03/18/apel-radijskim-i-televizijskim-postajama-i-medijima-slusajmo-hrvatsko
Quarantine sessions: #karantenasessions: https://mixer.hr/koncerti-na-daljinu-karantenasessions-svakodnevno-donosi-val-optimizma-dobre-energije-i-zdrave-zabave/
Music against panic. Stay home. Listen local music. Streaming concerts from homes and others.
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
Losses are already very important in the live sector. Layoffs and less income from neighbouring rights can also be expected next year as a result of crisis. Physical sales are down in Q2 as result of shops being closed .
A survey is being developed jointly by RUNDA, the association of music independents for the Balksn, the Croatian Discofgraphic Union and Zapraf (Collective society) to see assess the loss. (see here).