General national economic measures
  • SME business interruption loan scheme - 12-month interest free - via banks (subject to application) 

  • larger business interruption loan scheme – via banks (subject to application) 

  • small business rates relief, including for hospitality, retail and leisure businesses 

  • business support grants in England, including for hospitality, retail and leisure (for rate-paying businesses) 

  • Income tax (self-assessment) relief (deferred payments) and payment assistance 

  • VAT relief (deferred payment) 

  • salary and sickness pay support for businesses for PAYE employees 

  • self-employed salary support scheme 

  • lower interest rates (general) – note: not yet being passed through to businesses 

  • loan repayment holiday (subject to banks’ own schemes) 

  • mortgage repayment holiday (subject to banks’ own schemes) 

  • protection for renters against eviction (unclear if available to commercial renters) 

  • short term debt purchase facility (for investment-grade businesses) 

  • extension of Universal Credit scheme for unemployed, low earners and self-employed 

  • further devolved government support in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland 


More info:   


- The UK government has set out a package of temporary, targeted measures aimed at supporting public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. This includes a package of measures to support businesses including: 

  • Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where all UK employers with a PAYE scheme are able to gain grants for 80% of salaries (capped at £2,500 per month) of staff who do not work for periods of at least 3 weeks (‘furloughed’) up until the end of October 2020. The intention of the scheme is to avoid companies having to make redundancies or lay off staff as a result of this crisis. Find out more. The initial level of support was maintained (80% of monthly salary up to £2,500 per month) up until the end of July. From August through to October, the scheme allows for part time work in order to help companies gradually re-introduce employees back into the workplace

  • Furloughed Britons will continue to receive up to 80% of their salaries until the end of March 2021 under an extension of coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS). The move – which comes just two weeks after the At a cliff edge report warned more than 26,000 full-time jobs will be lost before the end of 2020 without an extension to existing support measures – will save thousands of live music jobs.

  • Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments 

  • VAT deferral for 3 months for businesses.Find out more

  • Income Tax deferral for the Self-Employed  under the Self-Assessment System until January 2021.  Find out more

  • Self-employment Business Support Scheme, based on 80% of taxable profits (income less allowable overheads) previously declared. Find out more. Plus extension of Universal Credit system if earning under a threshold amount as a result of COVID-19 situation. 

  • Statutory Sick Pay rebate, to allow small and medium-sized businesses to reclaim Statutory Sick Pay paid for staff isolation and sickness absence due to coronavirus. Find out more

  • Business Rates Relief: a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England for the 2020-21 tax year. Find out more. The Treasury subsequently published guidance on an expansion to the  Business Rates relief  which includes live music venues, shops, restaurants, cafes and bars (doesn't seem to include festivals, studios or labels, publishers' offices, etc.) 

  • Small business grants for business rate-paying small businesses in England – for those who pay little or no business rates because of small business rate relief, rural rate relief and tapered relief. Find out more. Grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable (based on business rates payable) value between £15,000 and £51,000. 

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to help businesses affected to access bank lending and overdrafts. For loans up to £5 million, the Government is providing a guarantee for each loan. Find out more. There are restrictions on availability of loans and some banks were only lending to perceived ‘low risk’ businesses and taking personal guarantees. The government has issued a strong statement against this however, in practice, interest rates after the 12 month interest-free period remain very high.  

  • Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility with the Bank of England buying short-term debt from larger companies (investment-grade only). Find out more. 

  • HMRC Time To Pay Scheme: all businesses and self-employed people in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, may be eligible to receive payment support with their tax affairs through HMRC’s Time to Pay Service. Find out more

  • CLBILS – as for CBILS but for larger companies with turnover £1m - £500m and subject to a viability test implemented directly by banks. 

  • Universal Credit scheme made more easily available to those who have lost their job or lost work and for low-earning self-employed people: and 

  • UK Insolvency Framework - amendment to insolvency laws to allow businesses to continue trading during COVID-19 situation. Find out more

On 6th July, the government has announced a £1.57 billion support package that includes struggling music venues. Following up on that, on 25th July, the government released a £2.25m emergency package to save grassroots music venues. Up to 150 venues across the country are expected to benefit from the pot, which is the first portion of funding from the £1.57 billion support package.


Business Support website for FAQs: 


More info about the initiatives below here: 


Online resources for businesses and employers: 


Request for business intelligence: The Government is closely monitoring developments in relation to potential economic impacts on the UK economy and individual businesses and supply chain:  



- Bank of England measures to respond to the economic shock from COVID-19: The Bank of England launched a comprehensive package of measures to help UK businesses and households bridge across the economic disruption associated with COVID-19. Interest rates have been reduced from 0.75% to 0.1% and additional funding will be available for banks to increase lending, especially to SMEs.  


- Individual banks are implementing schemes for both individuals and businesses. See example of pledges of support from  Lloyds  and Nat West.

- The UK national association of independent labels (AIM) has contributed to the publication of back to work guidance for recording studios, rehearsal spaces music video shoots and capture for live streaming: see here.

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

On 5 July, the UK government announced a £1.57bn support package for Britain's arts and culture sector. (see here)

The Mayor of London announced a £2.3m emergency fund for culture (see here).

De-confinement process

On 11th May, the UK government revealed a lockdown exit plan divided into phases: see here.

On 20th May, The UK government appointed a Commissioner and taskforce to advise on how the sports, culture and heritage industries can navigate their way out of COVID-19 shutdown.

Measures taken by local collecting society organisations 


- PRS for Music have announced an immediate PRS Emergency Relief Fund in partnership with  PRS Members' Fund  and  PRS Foundation to support members during the Coronavirus pandemic. Read more  here

-  On 27th March, PPL announced £87.6M Q1 distribution and additional measures to help the music community:   

- On 15th April, PPL has announced that it has pledged to contribute to existing music industry hardship funds for a total of £700,000:

  • £500,000 to the Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund

  • £100,000 to the Musicians' Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund

  • £100,000 to the AIM COVID-19 Crisis Fund

Other music funds available 
  • AIM Launched a £1m Immediate Access Crisis Fund for Independent Music Contractors:

  • BPI launched £1.5m Covid-19 hardship fund backed by UK music industry (see here).

  • Arts Council England -£20 million available for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers. Artists and creative practitioners are able to apply for grants of up to £2,500 if they have a track record in publicly funded culture. Note that money from other Arts Council funds has been diverted to the Coronavirus fund. 

  • Musicians Union Coronavirus Hardship Fund: "£1M fund for MU members with genuine and pressing hardship" - 

  • Help Musicians launched the Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund, specifically created to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians are facing. The fund of £5m aimes to help reduce the worry many musicians are experiencing about their mounting household expenses. 

  • Eligible musicians are able to apply for a one-off payment of £500 through an online form. 

  • Creative Scotland launched two funding programmes 27 March - the Bridging Bursary and repurposed Open Project Fund - to enable individuals and organisations to sustain their creative work and practice in these extremely challenging times -  

  • Welsh Government & CreativeWales’s  Grassroots Music Relief Fund (GMR )  has been create d to assist the music industry during the  challenges surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. 


Support from online services 


No specific support for the UK so far. For other initiatives by online services, click here

Support from national radio and other media 


BBC support for SXSW shows. Find out more

Social media and other campaigns to promote music during the crisis 


- Campaign to support Independent Records Store: 

- Music Venues Trust’s open letter (see here): an Open Letter to Boris Johnson to cancel the Festival of Britain 2022 and use the £120 million investment to save grassroots culture. More info here


- Music  Venue  Trust  is asking the wider  music  industry to step up and help in:

  1.  They have launched the  Grassroots  Music  Venue Crisis Fund to raise £1 million for MVT's Emergency Response legal service, which (with a track record of 98% success) will use legal and financial support to prevent these closures. (Small donations can be made here, or for major donations, contact Beverley Whitrick –, 07809 155 388) 

  2. They are launching an  Adopt-A-Gig  scheme. For this, they were recruiting high-profile artists with exceptional social media reach who  can commit to a one hour online event (gig, Q&A, anything) specifically dedicated to raising money for one individual venue in crisis. ​

  3. On 26th April, they also launched the #saveourvenues campaign aimed at artists, fans & the music industry to support music venues throughout the UK as they continue to face economic threat. More here

- #MusicBusinessAdvice: AIM and other organisations have adopted an industry-wide hashtag to bring together advice for the music industry. Follow #musicbusinessadvice and use it to share something useful you’ve found. See the announcement here

- #Virtualpint campaign: a crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise £5,000 to help independent venues, pubs and arts spaces stay in business:

Local programmes supported by EU funds covering music 


None. The UK government narrative is to not to move the transition period end date for UK to exit the EU and membership of Creative Europe and other programmes is expected to cease at that time. 

Business and other expected losses 


The Government is closely monitoring developments in relation to potential economic impacts on the UK economy and individual businesses and supply chain.  

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy seeks business intelligence on how COVID-19 is impacting individual businesses and business sectors.  More specifically: 

  • The impacts across supply, demand and labour markets 

  • Actions being taken by firms to address these impacts 

  • Any gaps in the Government response from your perspective 

Please send this information to  We understand that individual company information may be commercially sensitive, and it will be treated accordingly. You can find all updated information produced by the Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England  here. 

Creative Industries Federation Survey: here


UK Music Union Covid Survey – This questionnaire informs this year’s  Music  By Numbers report, which launched on 14 April. The UK Musicians Union covid surveys revealed the following:

-Since March 2020, the MU has conducted three impact polls to get data on the impact of Covid-19 on musicians and support lobbying work.

-The first and second Covid-19 impact polls, which revealed that 38% musicians are falling through gaps in support and 19% were considering leaving the profession, were instrumental in making the case for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.

-The latest Covid-19 impact poll reveals that 34% are considering abandoning their career in music, while 37% are not sure.

- 47% musicians have been forced to look for work outside them music industry

- 70% are unable to undertake more than a quarter of their usual work

- 36% musicians do not have any work at all

-With the Government’s job retention schemes coming to an end:

· 65% musicians are facing financial hardship

· 87% musicians will be facing financial hardship as a result of the Government’s income support schemes ending in October 

· 87% musicians will be earning less than £20,000 this year – well below the UK average income of £29,600

-As a result, 88% musicians do not think that the Government has done enough to support musicians during the pandemic.

-UK Live Music Group Estimates COVID-19 Damage At $1.1B: more than 550 grassroots music venues (82% of the total) are at immediate risk of closure, a development the UK's Music Venue Trust is trying to prevent with a crisis fund and a campaign dubbed #saveourvenues, which has raised $1.5 million in its first week. (see here).

-A survey (also mentioned in the above article) conducted by the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) back in May found that 92% of its members were facing collapse.

In its "Music in Numbers" report published in November 2020, UK music estimates that 85% of live revenue and 65% of music creator's income (rising to over 80% for those most dependent on live performance and recording studio work) will be lost in 2020. (see here)

For more info:


AIM - Association of Independent Music -

United Kingdom

IMPALA represents independent music companies and national associations in Europe. Our main site is where you can find out more about what IMPALA does. 

Address: 70 Coudenberg - 1000 Bruxelles

Tel: +32 2 503 31 38

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