General national economic measures
-Businesses with 1-5 employees can apply for funding from the ELY centres (Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment) here. The ELY centres give direct financial support, not loans. That means you do not need to pay it back.
You can apply for support from an ELY centre to fund situation analyses and planning, and development projects. A situation analysis might mean planning your business’s operations and new business activities, as well as re-organizing operations. Here the assistance can be up to 80% of the calculated costs, but no more than €10,000. You may receive up to 70% of it as an advance.
You can also apply to an ELY centre for larger development projects which improve the company’s opportunities during market and production disruption and after the coronavirus crisis. These may include business redirection, developing a subcontractor network, re-organizing production, developing products and services, or strengthening skills. Here the amount of the assistance will be 80% of calculated costs and no more than €100,000 in proportion to the size of your business. Approved costs may include actual salaries, external services up to €60,000, raw materials and semi-manufactured goods for product development, and costs calculated on the basis of salaries up to 50%.
If you are a sole entrepreneur, you should first apply to your municipality for support (“toimintatuki”, operating support). You could receive €2,000. Applications have not yet opened, but the Ministry of Employment and the Economy believes they will open within a couple of weeks. The municipalities will provide information when applications open.
In addition, sole entrepreneurs can apply for the enhanced unemployment benefit for which entrepreneurs will be eligible. The operating support will be taken into account when applying for unemployment benefit.
-Businesses with 6-250 employees
Business Finland has opened two new funding channels to respond to the coronavirus situation. The Business Finland funding is development support, and businesses must match it with 20% of their own funding for the project. More information here. This Business Finland funding is direct financial support, not loans. That means you do not need to pay it back.
The number of applications is high so the waiting time is on the increase.
Note: The Ministry of Employment and Economy says that if a small business with 1–5 employees applied to Business Finland for funding before 27 March 2020, then Business Finland will process that application as usual. If it applied for funding for after that date, its application will be forwarded to an ELY centre.
The Finnish state is also guaranteeing bank loans to businesses. For a loan to be possible the applicant’s business must be healthy and the sudden need for funding must be because of the current crisis. In other words, this abnormal situation does not open up financing opportunities for companies that were not creditworthy before the crisis.
Businesses can contact their bank, which, if it issues the loan, will have 80% of the sum guaranteed by the states’ financing company Finnvera. Guarantees for loans of up to €1 million may be provided with fast processing.
More information about all these measures here.
National measures specific to the music sector or to culture in general
-A number of large Finnish foundations, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and Arts Promotion Centre Finland (Taike) have allocated €1,5m to grant swift assistance to arts and culture professionals who have been hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak. Freelance artists and composers can apply for grants here.
Measures taken by local collecting society organisations
-Neighbouring rights society Gramex will pay €11m to musicians and producers ahead of time.
Other music funds available
-Music Finland. Support for music export in exceptional circumstances (more information here) - this support can be applied for initiatives on digital platforms or digital services, as well as for PR measures on international media. Applications are processed weekly starting from April 3, 2020 until May 8, 2020. The Support for Music Export in Exceptional Circumstances will be reviewed and evaluated constantly in relation to the covid19 pandemic events, with a possible continuation for the Support after May 8, 2020. The amount of support granted ranges from a minimum of 500 to a maximum of 6,000 euros. Support will be decided on a case-by-case basis and will generally cover up to 50 percent of the project’s eligible costs, but in some cases grants can go up to 100 percent. In some cases, project-related wages paid for the applying company’s employees can be included in the grand total of the supported costs.
-MES-Finnish Music Foundation: Special work support in covid2019 situation (More info here)
-Svenska kulturfonden ja Föreningen Konstsamfundet: Support in exceptional circumstances
-The Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes have announced an open call for art projects called “together alone”. The Institutes are seeking artistic proposals related to the following themes: state of emergency, radical change, resilience, artistic practice in the future, alone together. The application is open to all Finnish and Finland-based professional artists who have lost work opportunities due to the corona epidemic. The Institutes are commissioning projects from selected artists or artistic groups to be completed by 30 June 2020. The total grant of an individual project is between 1500–5000€. Deadlines: 30 March 2020, 20 April 2020 & 4 May 2020. More information here.
Support from online services
No specific support for Finland. For more initiatives by online services, click here.
Support from national radio and other media
The main Finnish monthly music magazine Soundi publish their curated indie playlists online.
Social media and other campaign to promote music during the crisis
Finnish independent music companies association IndieCo launched the Indie Hour social media campaign, where artists, labels and music media urged people to listen to any domestic indie music only between 11:00 and 12:00 on Friday, March 20. People are advised to create and post their own playlists with #indiehour.
Local programmes supported by EU funds covering music
None so far.
Business and other expected losses
-The biggest impact of coronavirus on the independent sector has been so far the cancellations of live tours and concerts and even clubs. This affects in the short term mostly the artists & their crews, promoters, agents, managers as well as the venues and clubs, but will cause huge ramifications also to the labels as in many places concerts are the most profitable distribution platform for physical CDs and vinyls. The export of music will suffer but It is too early to have relevant data on how much money has been lost.
Autumn is set to become really crowded for the live events as many major tours have been postponed until Autumn (or early 2021), so there is a danger of saturation of the market. And smaller indie artists will suffer.
Many of the April-May tours were supposed to be connected to a new release, so many record releases will be postponed, too. This will cause cash flow and other kind of problems to the labels.
- Music Finland gathered information from Finnish music companies and freelancers about the impacts of the pandemic for their income and financial situation. The results of the surveys showed severe losses. For enterprises, the lost revenues varied from tens of thousands of euros to several millions, and for many of them, this amounted to a large proportion of their annual income. The losses from even a few productions have put all activities of smaller companies at risk. (More information here).
For more info:
INDIECO - Finnish Association of Independents - http://www.indieco.fi/