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
-NOW: Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment - a temporary scheme allowing companies to apply for help in paying their labour costs. 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 first NOW application period has ended. The second application period started at the beginning of July. Follow the information on uwv.nl/now.
- November: NOW 3 (in Dutch) is an extension of NOW until 1 July 2021 and consists of 3 periods of 3 months each. This means you can apply for 3 months at a time. During the first period the limit for your turnover loss percentage will remain 20%. From 1 January 2021 this percentage will be increased to 30%. It is expected you can apply for NOW 3 retroactively from 16 November 2020.
- TOGS: Reimbursement for entrepreneurs in affected sectors: €4,000 reimbursement scheme open for entrepreneurs in affected sectors (TOGS). Those who meet the conditions can apply to receive a one-off €4,000 (tax-free and free to spend).
- TOZO: Temporary bridging measure for self-employed professionals: offers support for self- employed professionals such as a sole proprietor, partner in a general partnership, owner of a private limited company (dga), who are experiencing financial difficulties due to the corona crisis. Tozo is based on the Decree on Assistance to the Self-Employed (Besluit bijstandverlening zelfstandigen, Bbz). The scheme came into force with retroactive effect on 1 March 2020, and remained in place until 1 June 2020, when the TOZO 2 was put in place. It is now possible to apply for TOZO 3, until June 30, 2021. The starting date for the application can differ per municipality. If you applied for income support under Tozo 2 and you want to apply for the Tozo 3, you can extend the support. Municipalities may use a shortened form for applications for extensions.
-It was made easier for companies that have been impacted by the coronavirus to request a deferment of tax payment. The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration halted 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 are 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 applies to all tax debts. The rate for interest on tax is temporarily lowered to practically 0% as well. This reduction applies to all types of tax that are subject to interest on tax. The government lowered the interest rate as well. This measure is open until December 31.
-Companies that are having difficulty obtaining bank loans and bank guarantees 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 €10 billion. The scheme allows the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy to help small and medium-sized enterprises by guaranteeing a certain amount of their their bank loans and bank guarantees (between €1.5 million and €50 million per company). The maximum guarantee percentage has been increased from 50% to 80% for large companies (public limited companies, nv) and to 90% for SMEs. The maximum guarantee to be awarded to a company was temporarily raised to €150 million. The government committed to providing whatever amount is needed to grant these guarantees.
More information here.
- The SME credit guarantee scheme (BMKB) has been extended. With the guarantee loan, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy is partly a guarantee for companies that want to take out a loan, but cannot offer the financier enough security ('collateral', such as buildings or machines). If you have a business in the Netherlands and employ no more than 250 workers (you have an SME), you may be eligible for a guarantee for part of a loan through the SME credit guarantee scheme (BMKB). The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy stands as guarantor. This will enable you to borrow more than would otherwise be possible based on your collateral.
More information on the measures in general here on the government's website.
Dutch music companies associations STOMP and NVPI published an overview (last updated in September) of all governmental measures available to cultural and creative businesses.
National measures specific to the music sector or to culture in general
-The music sector can benefit from the above-mentioned general measures.
-Where banks don’t offer a credit loan facility, the government steps 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 mostly targeted the already subsidised part of Cultural activities like concert halls, orchestras and the likes. Artists and actors were not eligible for any further grants. This was heavily criticised in the press and by the unsubsidised part of the sector which asked for an additional package. The creative industries alliance ENCORE called 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.
-On 28 August the Dutch government announced a further €482 million in emergency funding for the Dutch cultural sector, as well as an extension of the allowance for cultural SMEs affected by the measures to contain the virus. (see here and 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 were allowed reopened from 1st June but only limited to a maximum of 30 people including staff and only via reservations. (more information here).
-At the end of June, the government announced that outdoor gatherings should be limited to 250 people (not counting staff when gathering is related to a service).
-In September venues were allowed to reopen subject to strict measures. The event and live sector say they are in great need of more flexible safety protocols for opening up their businesses to a larger public. So far the government decided to stick with a 1,5 meter limitation.
Measures taken by local collecting society organisations
-Performers/producers’ society SENA 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 announced a fund of €1m to be distributed between performers and labels.
-Authors’ society Buma/Stemra made € 2,75m available for an emergency fund. On top of this they distributed copyright earnings earlier:
2019 live performances were paid in April and May 2020 instead of September 2020 (approximately € 12,000,000)
2019 Radio and TV were 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.
Other music funds available
Almost 60 Dutch music venues have received grants from the Kickstart Culture Fund (an initiative of BankGiro Loterij and a number of private funds) to help operators adapt to the logistics of coronavirus restrictions. The newly established fund, which has collected more than €16 million, has awarded grants ranging between €5,000–€100,000 to 418 cultural institutions in the Netherlands including theatres, concert halls, producers and museums.
Support from online services
-Spotify sponsored a fund with a donation of at least €100,000, which the music sector asked the government to top up. Spotify also promoted a Dutch only playlist.
-Apple Music announced an advance fund for independent music companies. Labels could 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 were lukewarm.
Social media and other campaigns to promote music during the crisis
-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.
- Achter De Schermen (http://www.achterdeschermen.nl/)
- Cultuur in Actie (https://www.cultuurinactie.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.
-Performers/producers’ society SENA is experiencing a decrease of 30% in terms of rights collected and distributed.
-With the generic support in compensation of labor costs and fixed costs it is hard to say if there are sleeping bankruptcies forthcoming. Artists however are forced to seek other ways of income because many of them lack any perspective or are in immediate need of income. Unions are mentioning 30% of them are looking for a new career. The live sector is still facing huge problems and losses, without much help.
-LoveRecordStores campaign to support independent record stores.