(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Emergency funding is provided for artists and designers
Apr 6 2020 – 15:51
People working in the cultural sector in Switzerland can now apply for funds to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Swiss government last month adopted a package of steps totaling CHF280 million ($ 287 million). On Monday the Federal Cultural Office explained how the money would be divided: CHF100 million for non-profit companies and CHF25 million for cultural workers was allocated as emergency aid; CHF145 million available as compensation for losses; and CHF10 million available for non-professional cultural associations such as music or theater organizations. A non-profit cultural business can apply for an interest-free loan that may not exceed 30% of business income according to the last revised annual financial statement. Public subsidies reduced. In its March 20 regulation, the government defines the ‘cultural sector’ as performance art, design, film, visual arts, literature, music and museums. Cultural workers, defined as self-employed Swiss residents whose main occupation is in the cultural sector, can also apply for CHF196 maximum emergency assistance per day, up to an annual income of CHF40,000 (one person) or CHF60,000 (married couple). In order for each additional family member to be supported, an additional CHF 10,000 can be added to the income limit. Higher income values rule out emergency assistance. The basis for assessing rights is a recent assessment of direct federal taxation and evidence of economic difficulties. Compensation for loss of income is offset by emergency assistance. In addition, financial assistance is available for cultural companies and professionals who have been forced to cancel or postpone events and projects or to close businesses. Compensation for cancellation includes a maximum of 80% of financial losses incurred. Loss of profit is not compensated. Cultural associations in the amateur sector are also supported, with compensation of a maximum of CHF 10,000 per cultural association, depending on the number of active members represented. Limited for two months. Contact partners for interested parties are the cantons, the Swiss Social Cultural Association, which maintains the social security of the professional culture, and the amateur cultural association. However, the Federal Office of Culture said the cantons would not be able to make the first payment until they had signed an agreement in accordance with the federal government. People and businesses not covered by the government’s emergency package include publishers, manufacturers and sellers of musical instruments, video shops, dance clubs and night clubs. Architecture companies, photo laboratories, libraries and art dealers cannot claim financial assistance as well. On the other hand, workshops and studios for textile design, object design, jewelry design and graphic design are eligible. The Emergency Assistance Ordinance for Culture began retroactively on March 21 and was limited to two months. The government says an extension is under consideration.