General national economic measures
*company tax relief
*unemployment relief for freelance workers
*mortgage payment holiday
All urgent social and economic measures to face Covid-19 are available on a dedicated government website: https://www.mscbs.gob.es/ssi/covid19/guia.htm
Here is an overview of some of the main measures put in place since the start of the crisis:
-An extraordinary allowance was provided for self-employed workers affected by the suspension of economic activity.
-The use of temporary employment schemes was simplified and access conditions to them were extended. In addition, employers benefit from certain exemptions of social security contributions during the period of application of the temporary employment adjustment scheme.
-€14 billion in deferred tax expenditure for 6 months for SMEs and the self-employed.
-About €10 billion moratorium on mortgage loan payments on primary homes for those identified as economically vulnerable, facing extraordinary difficulties procuring payment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
-€100 billion in credit guarantees programmes for companies and the self-employed to help meet the financing needs derived, among other things, from payments of wages, invoices, current needs or other liquidity needs, including those derived from maturities of financial or tax. 80% guarantee for small and medium sized businesses, and 70% guarantees for larger companies.
National measures specific to the music sector or to culture in general
The music sector can benefit from the above-mentioned general measures.
On top of this, specific measures were introduced for the cultural sector:
Companies and self-employed in the cultural sectors had access to the first tranche (€20bn) of the €100bn credit guarantee programme for companies and self-employed mentioned above.
Interested companies and freelancers were able to request the guarantee for their operations until September 30, 2020.
More information here.
On May 5th 2020, the government presented a €76m plan for the recovery of its cultural and creative sectors - some of the measures introduced included:
-extraordinary access to unemployment benefit for employees, with more flexible criteria.
-extraordinary access to unemployment benefit for freelancers and self-employed who have lost their revenues, for a period of up to 180 days depending on the period of employment during the previous year.
-€38,2m grant for the performing arts and music sectors.
-payout of incurred eligible expenses related to publicly funded cultural activities and projects affected by total or partial cancellations or postponements due to COVID-19.
-€20m credit fund for cultural and creative SMEs, which in turn was meant to mobilise at least €40m in credits for each sub-sector, including music, via loan guarantees schemes. (more info here)
This represents a small increase over the regular annual budget for culture. So far there have been no specific funds or measures for music companies, e.g. record labels.
To mitigate the impact of the crisis on the cultural sector, the city of Barcelona put in place a series of ten measures (€1m special subsidy, advance payments for programmed shows with companies and artists with programmed shows postponed to receive down payments, etc.). See more information here.
Barcelona also called on the Spanish and Catalan governments to implement measures to help the cultural sector. The Spanish government was urged to cut VAT on culture and in the sphere of education to 0%, at least until December 2020. The Government of Catalonia is also urged to reach an agreement with the Catalan Finance Institute to open up a line of micro credits of up to €20,000 euros at zero or low interest rates, to meet the needs of SMEs in the cultural sector.
Among other measures, a €10 million interest loan line for cultural companies was proposed, the non-revocation of grants already granted and the rescheduling of planned activities. More information here.
The Catalonian government announced a first support package for the culture sector, totalling €8.4 million, to benefit companies, performers and live event technicians.
The package contained two lines of subsidies; the first offered compensation for the operating costs of companies and cultural organisations affected by the pandemic, the second compensate Catalonian artists who were hired for concerts or festivals, inside or outside the autonomous community, but ultimately could not perform due to cancellations.
-Covid-19 measures and restrictions in the country can be found on the government's website: https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov/ciudadania.htm
-Health measures in place in the various autonomous regions of Spain can be found here: https://www.mscbs.gob.es/profesionales/saludPublica/ccayes/alertasActual/nCov/enlacesCCAA.htm
Measures taken by local collecting society organisations
- The authors' society launched grants (SGAE-Corona funds) of up to 3.000€ per author to cover their losses, for a total of 15 million euros.
- Food delivery service for members over 70 years old living by themselves.
- Immediate loans of 30% of the previous semester's declaration (if the amount earned was between 3.000 and 10.000€)
More information: http://www.fundacionsgae.org/es-es/sitepages/AyudasDetalle.aspx?i=126
- The performers' collecting society launched grants of up to 2.000€ per member.
- The budgeted distribution for April 2020 was increased by 31% from 10 to 13.1 million euros and they expected to increase 2020's total distribution by 11%.
More information: https://www.aie.es/comunicado-aie-24-marzo-2020/
Social media and other campaigns to promote music during the crisis
- Record Store Day Spain was celebrated on June 20th 2020 with a selection of national limited edition albums. Spanish independent music companies organisation UFI organized Record Store Week, a series of online sessions (on Instagram live) with record stores, labels and artists regarding the event celebrated in Record Store Day Spain under the hashtag #salvemoslastiendasdediscos.
- #HoyMeComproUnDisco was a campaign launched by Spanish independent music companies association UFI with the aim of helping independent labels and record stores whose activity had been stopped due to the Covid-19 crisis. The campaign aimed to reach the audience and raise awareness that, in order for record labels and stores to continue to exist after this exceptional situation, it is necessary that the audience support them by ordering records these days. It is important to say that it has been communicated that the orders would be sent when it was safe to do so. http://ufimusica.com/campana-hoymecomproundisco/
- BMAT called for radio stations to play music from artists whose shows have been cancelled. The initiative called 'The Show Must Go On Air' aimed to encourage broadcasters to support artists who had to cancel shows in Barcelona due to COVID-19. The initiative called on all broadcasters who play or use music to opt for the songs of those who’d been cancelled.
Business and other expected losses
Out of a research study conducted with 70 independent labels in Spain the estimated losses are:
Physical Sales: 8.077.500€ (all independents in Spain)
Streaming: 909.750€ (all independents in Spain)
Performance Rights: 1.121.500€ (all independents in Spain)
Live Music: 24.305.000€ (all independents in Spain)
For more info:
UFi - Unión Fonográfica Independiente - http://ufimusica.com/esmusica-propuesta-de-medidas-al-gobierno-para-ayudar-al-sector/ - hola (@) ufimusica.com