General national economic measures

 

*small business relief or other financial support

*company tax relief

*VAT relief

*loan repayment holiday

*interest free crisis loans

*income support for employees

*lower interest rates (general)

 

Increased lending to small and medium-sized companies via Almi: In March 2020, Almi Företagspartner SEK 3 billion capital injection to increase lending to small and medium-sized enterprises. This is for companies who’s operations are adversely affected by the outbreak of covid-19. See here.

 

Increased loan frame for The Swedish Export Credit. In March 2020, the Swedish Export Credit Corporation’s credit framework were increased from SEK 125 billion to SEK 200 billion and can be used to provide both state-supported and commercial credit to Swedish export companies See here.

 

The Central Bank of Sweden

-To avoid robust companies being knocked out as a result of the spread of the coronavirus, the Executive Board of the Riksbank has decided in March 2020 to lend up to SEK 500 billion to companies via the banks. The aim was to maintain the supply of credit to Swedish companies. See here.

-The Central Bank of Sweden announced on 16 and 19 March that it will extend its purchases of securities during the year by up to SEK 300 billion. The purchases can include government and municipal bonds, covered bonds and securities issued by non-financial corporations. See here.

-The Riksbank enabled loans in US dollars against collateral to strengthen the supply of liquidity in US dollars in the Swedish financial system in order to, facilitate banks’ funding in this currency is one of the Riksbank's measures to mitigate the effects of the corona pandemic on the Swedish economy. See here.

 

Extended credit guarantees for The Swedish Export Credit Commission's (EKN): The Swedish Export Credit Guarantee Agency’s (EKN) ceiling for credit guarantees was increased from SEK 450b to a total of SEK 500b, and the lower risk for banks will give companies new and improved credit opportunities.

 

Government loan guarantee for small and medium sized companies: The state guarantees 70 per cent of new loans from the banks to companies that, due to the consequences of the new corona virus, have encountered financial difficulties, but otherwise are viable. The guarantee is issued to the banks, which in turn issue guaranteed loans to the companies. The loan guarantee is primarily aimed at small and medium-sized companies, but there is no formal limit on the size of the company to participate in the program. A limit of SEK 75 million per borrower has been proposed, but exceptions can be made. (See here).

 

The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority gave banks the opportunity to exempt all housing mortgage holders from the requirement to amortise on their loans due to the Corona virus effects on the economy. The temporary exemption from the amortisation requirement will end on 31 August. See here.

 

New period of state-aid: in January 2021, to mitigate the economic impacts of the increasing spread of the virus, the Government proposes that the State aid measure in support of certain commercial tenants receiving a rent rebate – introduced in spring 2020 – be reintroduced for January–March 2021, i.e. for a further three months. This measure is temporary and designed for companies in certain vulnerable customer-facing sectors that have been hit hard financially by the pandemic. See here.

Turnover-based support support

-This scheme can be given to companies whose total net sales for March and April 2020 were less than 70% of their total net sales compared to March and April 2019, provided the decrease in net sales is an effect of the COVID-19 situation.

-On October 19, the Government extended the support scheme for May-July 2020. May 2020 and June-July 2020 were considered as two separate application periods.

-In February 2021, the scheme was extended until the end of April 2021. For the support period August to October 2020, sole traders must have lost at least 40 per cent of their turnover compared with the corresponding reference period in 2019. For support periods from November–December 2020 and later, the corresponding level is 30 per cent. On extension of the turnover-based support, the 2019 turnover requirement remained SEK 200 000 for the August to October support period. As of the November–December 2020, the turnover requirement will be reduced to SEK 180 000, so that more sole traders will be able to access the support. (See here).

-This scheme was also extended to applicants who have taken parental leave or sick leave during the reference period, i.e. 2019, and then to trading partnerships in which at least one partner is a natural person (see here).

-In March 2021, the turnover-based support was extended to cover May and June. May and June 2021 will constitute two separate support periods. Businesses are eligible for this support if they have lost more than 30 per cent of their turnover compared with the corresponding month in 2019. On average, the maximum amount of support per sole trader and natural person who is a partner in a trading partnership is SEK 24 000 per month. (See here).

National measures specific to the music sector or to culture in general

 

The music sector can benefit from the above-mentioned general measures. There is SOM and IFPI's Covid-akuten – a weekly newsletter and free consultancy for their members regarding governmental support.

On top of this, specific measures have been introduced for the cultural sector: 

-In March 2020, the Department of Culture have announced €500m in support for the culture sector affected by cancelled events and the restrictions for live events. (see official government statement). However, many artist driven labels do not meet the criteria to apply. 

-Additional information via the Swedish Arts Council here

 

-Government’s updates here

 

-€30m have been earmarked for emergencies especially aimed for companies directly affected by the ban on concerts, festivals etc. with more than 500 audiences. The compensation only covered event scheduled before May 31st.

-On top of these governmental measures, SOM, the national association of independent labels and the local IFPI put in place some economic advice for their members, including advice and help from economic consultants on how to apply to the governments Covid funds and other financial matters, as well as two online learning sessions and a weekly update during May and June 2020.

-On 9 September 2020, the Swedish Ministry of Culture announced that 1.5bn SEK would be added to the 2020-2021 budget in support of the cultural sector, with one additional billion (2,5bn SEK) for 2021-2022. (More info here and here)

 

-In April 2021, the Government proposed that the area of culture be allocated an additional SEK 1.28 billion for emergency support and incentives in 2021 to mitigate the economic impact of the spread of COVID-19 and to facilitate a restart of activities once the situation allows. (See here).

De-confinement process

Covid-19 measures and restrictions in the country can be found on the government's website.

Measures taken by local collecting society organisations

 

-Collecting society SAMI (Swedish Artists and Musicians Interest Organisation) are making advance payments and campaigning to be able to use unclaimed sums to support their members. (see here)

-Collecting society Stim warned its members about a renewed opportunity to get Stim royalties for live performances from 2019. (See here).

 

Other music funds available?

 

-The musicians union launched a crisis fund (see here).

 

-The Swedish Jazz organisation has also started a fund (see here). 

-Regional funding for companies in certain regions from Tillväxtverket (The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth): see here.

 

Social media  and other campaigns to promote music during the crisis

 

musikindustrin.se - published a daily list of all livestreamed concerts. This is no longer the case.   

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/svenskamusikbranschen/ - discussion forum with ideas how to manage the during the outbreak.

 

Business and other expected losses

 

Still under evaluation. The Swedish association of independent labels developed a survey on this issue and is currently collecting information.


 

For more info:

 

SOM - Svenska Oberoende Musikproducenter - http://som.seinfo@som.se

Sweden