General national economic measures
*small business relief or other financial support
*company tax relief
*income support for employees
*unemployment relief for freelance workers
*tax returns and or VAT returns suspended/delayed
-A temporary scheme allowing companies to apply for help in paying their labour costs is being introduced. Any company that expects to lose at least 20% of its revenue may apply with the Employee Insurance Agency for an allowance that will enable it to pay its employees' wages for three months (up to a maximum of 90 per cent of the company's wage bill, depending on the loss of turnover). The Employee Insurance Agency will provide the company with an advance amounting to 80 per cent of the requested allowance.
-The government will implement a temporary scheme with relaxed rules to support independent contractors (including self-employed persons) and allow them to continue their operations. The scheme will be executed by municipal governments. Self-employed persons will have recourse to an expedited procedure allowing them to apply for additional income support, which will help them pay their costs of living for a three-month period.
-It will be made easier for companies that have been impacted by the coronavirus to request a deferment of tax payment. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration will halt the collection of taxes at once upon receiving the request for deferment. The deferment of payment applies to income tax, corporation tax, payroll tax and value-added tax (VAT). Any fines that may be imposed for the late payment of taxes do not need to be paid. Moreover, companies are excused from having to submit evidence at once. They will be granted more time to do so. The interest on overdue tax normally levied after the term of payment has expired will be temporarily lowered from 4% to nearly 0%. This rule will apply to all tax debts. The rate for interest on tax will be temporarily lowered to practically 0% as well. This reduction will apply to all types of tax that are subject to interest on tax. The government will lower the interest rate as soon as possible.
-Companies that are having difficulty obtaining bank loans and bank guarantees will have recourse to the Guarantee Corporate Financing scheme (GO scheme). The government has proposed that the guarantee ceiling for the GO scheme be increased from €400 million to €1.5 billion. The scheme will allow the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to help small and medium-sized enterprises by guaranteeing 50% of the amount of their bank loans and bank guarantees (between €1.5 million and €50 million per company). The maximum guarantee to be awarded to a company will temporarily be raised to €150 million. The government commits to providing whatever amount is needed to grant these guarantees.
More information here.
National measures specific to the music sector or to culture in general
-The music sector can benefit from the above-mentioned general measures.
-The government has entered into talks with the arts and culture sector in order to make sure that it benefits from the generic measures, as well as from potential sector-specific measures where necessary.
-Where banks don’t offer a credit loan facility, the government will step in to guarantee loans to a certain amount (details are still in the negotiation phase).
-In April, the government announced an extra fund for Culture of €300 million. However, this plan is mostly targeting the already subsidised part of Cultural activities like concert halls, orchestras and the likes. Artists and actors are not eligible for any further grants. This has been heavily criticised in the press and by the unsubsidised part of the sector which expects an additional package. The creative industries alliance ENCORE is calling among other things for a swift implementation of the EU copyright directive, better addressing piracy, boosting loans to SMEs (including by getting Dutch banks interested in taking part in the EU's loan guarantee scheme under Creative Europe) and increasing the level of salary guarantees for creative companies.
Measures taken by local collecting society organisations
-Performers/producers’ society SENA has set up a special fund of €200,000 via which artists can apply for a loan in order to go into the studio and create new music. On top of this, SENA has announced a fund of €1m which will be distributed between performers and labels. The details of how money will be distributed is still under discussion, but it should take into account the proportion of revenues.
-Authors’ society Buma/Stemra is making € 2,75m available for an emergency fund. On top of this they will be distributing copyright earnings earlier:
2019 live performances will be paid in April and May 2020 instead of September 2020 (approximately € 12,000,000)
2019 Radio and TV in will be paid in June 2020 instead of September 2020 (approximately € 38,000,000)
In addition, some of its yearly distributions will become quarterly distributions, e.g. for copyright earnings from live performances.
More information here.
-On 6 May the government presented its recovery roadmap and announced it would start lifting restrictions according to a five-stage plan, starting on 11 May. Cultural institutions such as concert venues will be allowed to reopen from 1st June but only limited to a maximum of 30 people including staff and only via reservations. (more information here)
Other music funds available
None so far.
Support from online services
-Spotify confirmed it would sponsor a fund with a donation of at least €100,000, which the music sector is asking the government to top up. Spotify is also promoting a Dutch only playlist since April 6th.
-Apple Music announced an advance fund for independent music companies. Labels can apply for 1-month upfront payment of royalties due by Apple Music.
For more initiatives by online services, click here.
Support from national radio and other media
Collecting societies Buma Stemra and SENA and the music Industry as a whole requested an increase of Dutch music played on radio, but reactions so far are lukewarm. Most stations have confirmed they will play a full day of Dutch music on Kings day at the end of April. But the music sector wants more action and a social media campaign is being planned.
Social media and other campaigns to promote music during the crisis
-See above, a social media campaign is being planned by the music industry.
-In the meantime collecting societies Buma Stemra and SENA launched Luisternaarons.nu, a request to citizens to write to their radio stations to play Dutch music.
-ENCORE, the coalition of rightholder organisations including Record companies trade bodies NVPI and STOMP, as well as collecting societies Buma/Stemra and Sena, interviewed some music professionals about what’s happening behind the scenes. See clips including the participation of IMPALA President Kees van Weijen at www.achterdeschermen.nl.
Local programmes supported by EU funds covering music
None so far, government’s main priority is the health crisis but talks are ongoing.
Business and other expected losses
-Live business estimates losses of € 3.5 billion, which corresponds to 50% of the year turnover. Live income is currently 0.
-Performers/producers’ society SENA is experiencing a decrease of 30% in terms of rights collected and distributed.
-Record store day, which was initially scheduled to take place in April, has been postponed, with a new date later this year to be confirmed shortly.
-LoveRecordStores campaign to support independent record stores.