General national economic measures
*small business relief or other financial support
*income support for freelance workers
*income support for employees
*income support for freelance workers
*business rates payment holiday
*employer social security payment holiday
*tax returns and or VAT returns suspended/delayed
-Business significantly impacted by the pandemic are entitled to aid provided under the program for hardship cases. On January 13, 2021, the Federal Council decided to relax the conditions that a company must fulfill to be entitled to aid in hardship cases. Among other things:
Businesses closed by the authorities for at least 40 calendar days since November 1, 2020 will be considered hardship without having to prove the decline in their turnover.
Companies will also be able to claim the losses in turnover suffered in 2021. The upper limit for lost-fund contributions will be reduced to 20% of turnover or to 750,000 francs per company.
The modification of the ordinance will make it possible to provide aid in hardship cases to a large circle of beneficiaries. More than half of the cantons are already providing aid in this regard in January and almost all should be able to do so in February
-Companies can ask for compensation in the event of a reduction in working hours, with the unemployment insurance covering, for a certain time, part of the salary costs of employers whose workers are affected by a reduction of the work schedule. More info and conditions here.
-The late penalty and interest fees associated with VAT is to be waived through the end of 2020, although taxpayers must apply to have their payments deferred.
-The federal income tax payment is delayed; specific delays are determined by the Cantons.
-Compensation for reduced working hours (partial unemployment). Employers can apply for reduced work hours benefits. More information and applications here.
-Aid in the form of cash. Companies can ensure the liquidity of their business in the short term by requesting support in the form of a transitional credit guaranteed by the Swiss Confederation. More information and forms here.
-Postponement of the payment of contributions to social insurance interest free, liquidity reserves in the tax field, suspension of proceedings and bankruptcies, more information in the press release from the Federal Council here.
National measures specific to the music sector or to culture in general
From the above-mentioned package, the following measures are relevant for the cultural sector:
-Self-employed people who suffer a loss of income because of official measures to combat the coronavirus (eg. cancelled performances) can apply for compensation. These payments are administered via cantonal compensation funds. More information about the compensation scheme here. A list of compensation funds is available here.
-Companies and freelancers can defer social security payments without incurring interest. Applications will be assessed via the cantonal compensation funds. (same list as above.)
-Small companies including single-person firms whose liquidity is endangered by the impact of coronavirus can obtain government guarantees for credit during the crisis. More information on liquidity support is available here.
-Emergency funding of CHF 280m (around €265m) has been made available specifically for arts and culture. This includes non-repayable loans to cover the living costs of artists whose livelihoods are threatened by measures to combat the coronavirus. This funding will be administered by Suisseculture Social. More information and applications here (information in French, German and Italian).
At its meeting on December 18, 2020, the Federal Council adopted an amendment to the COVID-19 culture ordinance to strengthen support for the cultural sector:
-Cultural businesses which have suffered financial losses due to closure, or cancellation or postponement of events or projects, can request compensation from the cultural service of the canton where their company is headquartered. The compensation covers a maximum of 80% of financial losses. The deadline for filing the application is 30 November 2021.
-Cultural enterprises having their headquarters in Switzerland can apply for financial aid from the cantons for projects aimed at carrying out structural reorientation or at increasing their audience. Financial aid covers a maximum of 80% of the costs of a project. They amount to a maximum of 300,000 francs per cultural enterprise. Deadline for application is 30 November 2021.
-measures for cultural businesses, see here
-measures for cultural actors, see here
-measures for non-profit cultural operators, see here
Covid-19 measures and restrictions in the country can be found on the government's website.
Measures taken by local collecting society organisations
SUISA, the Swiss collecting society is examining possibilities to help members specifically with support payments in case they are facing an emergency situation because of the corona crisis.
Other music funds available
None so far.
Support from online services
No specific support for Switzerland so far. For more initiatives by online services, click here.
Support from national radio and other media
National Radios are supporting the music industry by playing Swiss music, some programmes even playing only local artists.
Social media and other campaigns to promote music during the crisis
Let's Get Digital Festival: http://www.lovestream.ch
Petition calling for the creation of a compensation fund for cultural workers. (see here)
Local programmes supported by EU funds covering music
None so far.
Business and other expected losses
-Around 4000 Swiss francs in average for employees and freelance musicians.
-No estimate for record labels yet.
-More than 15m Swiss francs is already lost in fees from cancelled shows for March/April. Not counting merchandising, copyright, etc.