General national economic measures
*small business relief or other financial support
*tax returns and or VAT returns suspended/delayed
*loan repayment holiday
The government adopted three packages of economic measures between mid-March and August 2020. The overall aims were to maintain the liquidity of companies and citizens, save jobs and support the vulnerable. While the government spent around €320 million on the first two packages, the third is far larger, estimated at €1.2 billion, and will span over four years. (source)
-Delay of tax payments and contributions to earnings.
-Creation of a new Investment Development Fund (IRF) credit line to improve the liquidity of entrepreneur.
-Moratorium on loan repayment for a period of up to 90 days. It included the interim suspension of all payments of obligations based on the loan (principal, interest, default interest, fees, etc.).
-Banks were also allowed to restructure loans and reclassify them as new loans, including by additionally extending the repayment period by up to two years, if the borrower’s financial position was impacted by the pandemic and restructuring would improve the credit capacity of the borrower. These measures also applied to leasing and microfinance institutions.
- As Montenegro is involved in accession negotiations with the Union, the country was able to apply to EU funds open to accession countries like the EU Solidarity Fund (the fund was set up for natural disasters and now includes public health emergencies).
In addition, the EU has approved assistance for Montenegro last year via its neighbourhood programme (part of its Western Balkans Covid-19 package worth 410m euros).
On top of funds for healthcare systems, the EU mobilised €50 million to support the social and economic recovery of Montenegro. The money was spent “to support the real economy, including SMEs, and support liquidity, also of the banking sector.”
RUNDA (the independents music companies association for the region) asked to see part of these monies used to support music and other cultural sectors.
National measures specific to the music sector or to culture in general
A set of financial emergency measures for the cultural sector concerns the calls for applications for cultural workers, especially independent artists who are mostly affected by the situation, then by increasing the budget for competitions intended for projects in the fields of creative industries and cinematography, as well as by launching culture related online platforms. One of these competitions has been co-financing activities of 145 projects of 346,840EUR in the field of cultural and artistic creation that are in the function of public interest and protection of socio-economic interests of unemployed artists and cultural experts, cultural entrepreneurs, independent artists, cinema presenters and internet portals. (source)
Measures taken by local collecting society organisations
Montenegrin music authors' organisation established two solidarity funds for its members (source).
Business and other expected losses
A UNESCO survey found that the number of enterprises and entrepreneurs active in the cultural and creative industry in Montenegro 2018 was 2031 (1,790 enterprises and 241 of entrepreneurs) or 3.5% of the market shareMontenegrin creative industry is relatively young, with 80% of surveyed enterprises active for less than 10 years, and 85% of them with less than 10 employees. The majority have experienced reduction in the scope of business activities, which caused a decrease in income; however only 14% of the enterprises had to lay off their employees. This could be because over 40% of enterprises only have one employee (self-employed). The majority of respondents answered that their current resources can ensure normal functioning for less than 6 months, with only 11% remaining active indefinitely.
50% of enterprises stated they benefited from governmental measures, which are tax and contribution exemptions, delay in payments of VAT and other taxes subventions for employees, and financial support for cultural projects.