General national economic measures
See Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment's webpage on measures and guidance for businesses here
-In 2020, Businesses with 1-5 employees could apply for funding from the ELY centres (Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment). The ELY centres gave direct financial support, not loans.
Applying for support from an ELY centre to fund situation analyses and planning, and development projects (assistance up to 80% of the calculated costs, but no more than €10,000, up to 70% of it as an advance)
Applying to an ELY centre for larger development projects to improve the company’s opportunities during market and production disruption and after the coronavirus crisis (business redirection, developing a subcontractor network, re-organising production, developing products and services, or strengthening skills) - assistance up to 80% of calculated costs and no more than €100,000 in proportion to the size business.
Applying to municipality for support (“toimintatuki”, operating support) to receive €2,000.
Applying for the enhanced unemployment benefit for which entrepreneurs were be eligible.
-Businesses with 6-250 employees
Business Finland 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 Finnish state also guaranteed bank loans to businesses. For a loan to be possible the applicant’s business had to be healthy and the sudden need for funding must be because of the current crisis. In other words, this abnormal situation did not open up financing opportunities for companies that were not creditworthy before the crisis.
Businesses could contact their bank, which, if it issued the loan, were to have 80% of the sum guaranteed by the states’ financing company Finnvera. Guarantees for loans of up to €1 million could 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 could apply for grants here.
Measures taken by local collecting society organisations
-in 2020, neighbouring rights society Gramex paid €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 could be applied for initiatives on digital platforms or digital services, as well as for PR measures on international media. Applications were processed weekly starting from April 3, 2020 until May 8, 2020. The amount of support granted ranges from a minimum of 500 to a maximum of 6,000 euros. Support being decided on a case-by-case basis and generally covering up to 50 percent of the project’s eligible costs, but in some cases grants could go up to 100 percent. In some cases, project-related wages paid for the applying company’s employees could be included in the grand total of the supported costs.
-MES-Finnish Music Foundation: Special work support in covid19 situation (More info here)
-Svenska kulturfonden ja Föreningen Konstsamfundet: Support in exceptional circumstances
-The Finnish Cultural and Academic Institutes announced an open call for art projects called “together alone”. The Institutes were seeking artistic proposals related to the following themes: state of emergency, radical change, resilience, artistic practice in the future, alone together. The application was open to all Finnish and Finland-based professional artists who lost work opportunities due to the corona epidemic. The total grant of an individual project was between 1500–5000€. Deadlines were: 30 March 2020, 20 April 2020 & 4 May 2020. More information here.
Support from national radio and other media
The main Finnish monthly music magazine Soundi published 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, 2020. People were advised to create and post their own playlists with #indiehour.
Business and other expected losses
-In 2020, it was felt that the biggest impact of coronavirus on the independent sector had been so far the cancellations of live tours and concerts and even clubs. This would affect in the short term mostly the artists & their crews, promoters, agents, managers as well as the venues and clubs, but could 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 would suffer but was still too early to have relevant data on how much money had been lost.
Autumn 2020 became really crowded for the live events as many major tours had been postponed until Autumn (or early 2021), so there was a danger of saturation of the market. And smaller indie artists would suffer.
Many of the April-May 2020 tours were supposed to be connected to a new release, so many record releases would have to be postponed, too. This it was felt could 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 put all activities of smaller companies at risk. (More information here).
In March 2020, more than 60% of Finland’s live events companies did not expect to survive the next six months. A survey conducted in October by the then recently launched Event Industry Association (Tapahtumateollisuus) – which incorporates all major Finnish concert businesses, including Fullsteam Agency, Live Nation Finland, Warner Music Live and CTS Eventim’s Lippupiste – found that over 70% of businesses still had next to no work and nearly two thirds believed they will not survive until summer 2021.
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