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Corona crisis: assistance for artists and self-employed persons from the cultural and creative industries

Artists, companies and self-employed persons from the cultural and creative industries are being hit to the core by the Corona crisis. At this point we give you an overview of emergency aids and more. The list will be updated continuously. However, we would like to point out that the information is not legally binding, but we hope that we can help you here.

+++Breaking news+++ The applications for the Emergency Relief Programme II  have been available until May 31th 2020, 23:59. The Emergency Relief Programme IV was closed on May 15th 2020, 18:00. Here you will find more information. 

Important note: Our own consulting services offered by the Kulturförderpunkt Berlin and Kreativwirtschaftsberatung Berlin will continue to take place.  

Our consulting services from August 10th to August 21st 2020:

1. online offers:
- Online group consultation hour for Emergency Aid via zoom: Tuesday, August 18th, 2020 | 10.30-12.00. Register here

2. for individual questions about the consultation you can still contact us by mail: Kulturfoerderpunkt[at]kulturprojekte.berlin, Kreativwirtschaftsberatung[at]kulturprojekte.berlin

 

CONTENT:

INFORMATION FOR THE INDIVIDUAL CREATIVE SECTORS

EMERGENCY MEASURES 
    FINANCIAL AID
    ARTISTS' SOCIAL INSURANCE (KSK)
    SERVICES OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCY
    SHORT-TIME WORK
    SUSPENSION AND REDUCTION OF TAX PAYMENTS
    FAILURE DOCUMENTATION
    CREDIT COLLECTION

HANDLING OF SUBSIDIES
    SENATE ADMINISTRATION FOR CULTURE AND EUROPE
    FEDERAL CULTURAL FOUNDATION

LEGAL RIGHTS AND COMPENSATION
    OBLIGATION TO FILE FOR INSOLVENCY
    CANCELLATION FEES
    COMPENSATION FOR QUARANTINE, BAN ON ACTIVITIES OR...
    RENT PROTECTION
    CONSULTING ASSISTANCE
    RESIDENCE PERMIT
    FAQ

FURTHER INFORMATION

WHERE ELSE YOU CAN FIND SUPPORT IN BERLIN
 


INFORMATION FOR THE INDIVIDUAL CREATIVE SECTORS

- architecture: Architektenkammer Berlin
- fine arts: Bundesverband bildender Künstler*innen
- design and fashion: Allianz deutscher Designer and Internationales Designzentrum Berlin, Fashion Council Germany
- film and cinema: Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, Bundesverband Schauspiel and HDF KINO
- games and interface: Game-Verband der deutschen Gamesbranche
- music: Berlin Music Commission, Club Commission and Deutsche Orchestervereinigung
- dance und theater: Tanzraum Berlin and LAFT Berlin
- advertising & PR: Gesamtverband Kommunikationsagenturen
- literature & publishing: lettrétage



EMERGENCY MEASURES 
 

FINANCIAL AID

(1) The NEUSTART KULTUR program aims to strengthen the infrastructure of small and medium-sized cultural enterprises after the break caused by the Corona virus. The facilities include museums, exhibition halls, memorials, venues for concert, dance and theatre as well as socio-cultural centers. The program is divided into four sections: pandemic-related investments, strengthening the cultural infrastructure, promoting digital services and supporting federally funded cultural institutions and projects. Applications can be made according to the specific branch. In addition, the Federal Cultural Fund will receive 50 million euro for the expansion of further funding programmes. Click here to get in touch wit your contact or for further information. An overview of the programme is also available in the special newsletter Corona Special #12 of the Kulturförderpunkt.

(2) As part of extensive aid measures for the Berlin economy, the Berlin Senate supports small and medium-sized companies that have suffered high turnover losses due to corona. The aid grants subsidies amounting to 50% of the commercial rents at the April and May rents this year. Applications can probably be submitted to the IBB from August 17th. More information is available here

(3) Via the Gesellschaft zur Verwertung von Leistungsschutzrechten mbH (GVL), owners of a perception contract from the independent scene can apply for a one-off emergency grant of 250 euros if they have suffered loss of fees due to virus-related event cancellations. The prerequisite is that the applicants have participated in at least one regular distribution of the GVL. Proof of the loss of the event or production (confirmation/cancellation by the organizer or production, proof of loss of earnings) is also required. Those affected should contact the GVL directly if necessary.

(4) With the #handforhand initiative, Junge Literaturvermittlung Köln e. V. has established a solidarity fund for freelancers in the areas of stage and sound technology, lighting and event assistance. Applications for the current grant phase can be submitted until 15th of August. The donations will be awarded by an award committee. A maximum of 1000 euros per applicant can be awarded.

(5) The German Orchestra Foundation has set up an emergency aid fund from which musicians can apply for immediate aid of up to 500 euros. There is also the possibility of making donations to support musicians of opera and concert houses. Further information can be found here

(6) In a two-stage programme, GEMA will provide financial assistance totalling around 40 million euros. The "Schutzschirm LIVE" is primarily aimed at composers and lyricists who are also performers and have run into financial difficulties due to cancellations of events throughout the country. The "Corona-Hilfsfonds" (Corona relief fund) provides financial transitional aid for individual cases of hardship within the framework of social and cultural support. Further information here.

(7) Child supplement: If the income is not enough for the whole family, parents or guardians can receive a child supplement in addition to child benefit. However, the application for the child supplement must be submitted separately to the family fund. Further information here.

(8) The crowdfunding platform Startnext has launched a crowdfunding aid campaign. Startnext has simplified the guidelines for crowdfunding and suspended the all-or-nothing principle. This means that every cent will now be paid out. Other platforms like Gofundme have similar models to help corona victims.

(9) In view of the Corona crisis, ZDF is further expanding its support for the creative industries and is making liquidity support available to producers with immediate effect. In the case of commissioned productions, producers can apply for advance payments on the next instalment provided for in the contracts. ZDF has set up a fund of up to 15 million euros for this purpose within the framework of the existing budget estimates.

(10) The magazine "Oper" and the Manfred Strohscheer Foundation have founded the emergency aid fund "Sängerhilfe". Singers and employees of music theatres can apply for help of up to 2,000 euros if they are in economic distress due to the Corona crisis. The donation fund has already been paid out, but the continuation of the campaign and further applications are possible.


ARTISTS' SOCIAL INSURANCE (KSK)

The Artists' Social Insurance Fund (KSK) has taken various measures for insured persons to cushion financial hardship. Among other things, it offers payment facilities, payment deferrals or even reductions in monthly advance payments. More details can be found here.


SERVICES OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCY

Self-employed persons have the possibility to register as unemployed, provided that they have taken out unemployment insurance. However, those who are registered as unemployed are not allowed to work - even if there are business orders again. Both at the same time is not possible. Those who do not have unemployment insurance can also apply for basic security (Arbeitslosengeld II), also known as Hartz IV. Further information can be obtained from the Federal Employment Agency. Kreatives Sachsen presents instructions for application in a video. In cooperation with Verdi, we have collected information and instructions for the application process in this document. The video and the document are only available in German. 


SHORT-TIME WORK

Companies with at least one employee can apply for short-time work compensation. In the case of short-time work compensation, the Federal Employment Agency pays 60 percent of the lost net wage if a company sends its employees on short-time work. Employers are also to be reimbursed for social security contributions for the lost working hours. Employers can apply for short-time work compensation if at least 10 percent of the workforce is affected by a significant loss of work. The measure is intended to help companies retain employees in the event of a slump in business. Attention: Short-time work compensation is not available for marginally employed persons! Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance


SUSPENSION AND REDUCTION OF TAX PAYMENTS

Upon application, current advance payments for income tax or corporation tax may be reduced or suspended. Tax payments due can be deferred and late payment surcharges can be waived. Enforcement measures can also be waived temporarily. Please contact the tax office responsible for you directly. More information here


FAILURE DOCUMENTATION

The Association of German Writers recommends all artists to document cancelled events so that they can be submitted in case of emergency funding. A sample template for the documentation can be found here.


CREDIT COLLECTION

The Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) is currently providing an aid package that facilitates access to cheap loans for companies (also applies to freelancers and the self-employed). Further information can be found here.


HANDLING OF SUBSIDIES

You are currently implementing a project with the help of subsidies and have to cancel events and/or trips? There is no general rule on how this affects the accounting of the subsidies. We assume that the funding agencies will inform the project sponsors individually in the near future. Numerous associations are currently working to ensure that the current situation does not have a negative impact on the grant recipients and the cultural and creative workers involved. Those are your options currently: 

SENATE ADMINISTRATION FOR CULTURE AND EUROPE

For ongoing calls for proposals of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, project applications can still be submitted online. However, it is currently open whether and when funding decisions can be made. For all those who have already received funding from the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, there is an information sheet on how to deal with funded projects affected by Covid-19. In any case there is an obligation to notify the projects. Further information.


FEDERAL CULTURAL FOUNDATION

The Federal Cultural Foundation has published the following article on its website regarding the handling of funding: "In principle, the costs incurred up to the point at which a project is discontinued are eligible for funding, even if planned events cannot take place. However, the project sponsors must make every effort to keep expenses as low as possible after cancellation. If you are able to postpone your events, we will try to make this possible by extending funding periods". Further information


LEGAL RIGHTS AND COMPENSATION
 

OBLIGATION TO FILE FOR INSOLVENCY

Until 30.09.2020, the Federal Government suspends the obligation for affected companies to file for insolvency. The regular three-week period of the Insolvency Code is thus no longer applicable. Further information


CANCELLATION FEES

Whether you receive a cancellation fee from the client depends on your individual contract conditions. Agreements made verbally or via SMS/WhatsApp are also valid. When concluding new contracts, make sure that there are regulations on contingency fees. If you have already provided partial services in a project, you are entitled to at least a pro-rata fee. Further important information can be found here. In addition, cultural institutions and projects supported by the federal government pay cancellation fees of up to 60 percent for agreements concluded until 15th of March. Affected people must contact the relevant institution directly. More information can be found here.


COMPENSATION FOR QUARANTINE,  BAN ON ACTIVITIES OR CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS AND KINDERGARTENS

In the case of an ordered quarantine and activity ban or school and daycare closures, financal compensation is in principle possible. This applies to employers and employees as well as to freelancers. Important information on this can be found here. In Berlin, applications are submitted to the Senatsverwaltung für Finanzen. Here you can find the online applications for quarantine and activity bans and here you can find the application forms for school and daycare closures. Further information are presented in a video by Kreatives Sachsen. The video is only available in German. 


RENT PROTECTION

Tenants and leaseholders cannot be terminated for the period from 1 April to 30 June 2020 due to non-payment of rent due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The rent remains due for this period; interest on arrears may also be incurred. Rent debts from the period from 1 April to 30 June 2020 must be paid by 30 June 2022, otherwise the tenants may be given notice of termination. In the event of a dispute, tenants must provide credible evidence that the non-payment of rent is due to the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. Further information can be obtained from the Federal Ministry of Justice.
 

RESIDENCE PERMIT

Due to corona, the Berlin Immigration Office has decided that the residence permit will not become invalid if short-time work benefits, SGB II (Hartz IV), SGB XII (social assistance) or AsylbLG (Asylum Seeker Benefits Act) are received between March 18th 2020 and June 17th 2020. More information can be found here.


FAQ

- Employment law implications of Corona: What do I need to know?
- Handling and processing of applications during the Corona pandemic: Information from the Berlin State Office for Immigration
- Is Corona a case of force majeure? What is the legal situation? 
- Härting Helpline: free initial telephone consultation on legal issues


FURTHER INFORMATION

- Information from Kultursenat, Wirtschaftssenat and Berlin Partner
- Overview of Deutscher Kulturrat of all federal and state programs concerning Corona 
- Handout for the support of independent and freelance cultural workers from ver.di
- Handouts for internationally active artists from Touring Artists
- Tips for startups from Gründerszene.de


WHERE ELSE YOU CAN FIND SUPPORT IN BERLIN

(1) Many small businesses in Berlin are run by people with a history of migration. In order to ensure that they too are specifically informed about the Immediate Action Programme, the Integration Commissioner has launched an information initiative. In cooperation with business associations and clubs, she provides information in various languages about the Emergency Aid II programme. The organisations also offer support in translating and filling out the forms. More information here. The Federal Employment Agency also offers easy access to information in foreign languages or easy language.

(2) Berlin (a)live is online: The new digital platform brings culture into the living room and supports cultural workers due to cancelled gigs, empty facilities, and missing fees. Berlin (a)live is a project of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Berlin agency 3pc. 

(3) The Clubcommission has launched a crowdfunding campaign to preserve Berlin clubs and created www.unitedwestream.berlin. Every day, a different club is streamed from the site. In addition to live broadcasts of DJ sets, live music and performances, United We Stream is also intended to become a platform for discussion rounds, lectures and films on club-cultural topics. In addition, the Club Commission is currently contacting banks and talking to the Cultural Senate in order to avert the impending collapse of large sections of the cultural industry (source: Zeit online, 12.3.2020).

(4) CityLAB Berlin has set up an ideas platform called "Hack the Crisis", where projects, proposals and challenges can be shared with others and comrades-in-arms can be found for their implementation.

(5) The Siemens Arts Foundation intends to support freelancers at public museums and collections with up to 25,000 euros.


CURRENT NEWS, SURVEYS AND PUBLICATIONS:

You can find them daily on Creative City Berlin here.

LET US KNOW AS SOON AS YOU LEARN ANYTHING NEW 

Give ourselves hints on new measures, tips, links and best practice ideas in times of Corona. We have set up a Google Doc for this purpose. The more we collect together, the more informed all scenes are about help and possibilities. [This way]

Creative Sector: Industry news & Market trends


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