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.
Selection Of Current Corona Aids:
(1) Emergency Aid IV (Soforthilfe IV), 4th phase, (supported months March to June 2021): No direct application possible; but via an application for Bridging Aid III until 31st March 2021, followed by an expression of interest procedure.
(2) Restart Aid (Neustarthilfe) for solo self-employed (supported months January to June 2021): Application from 16th February to 31st August 2021.
(3) Bridging Aid (Überbrückungshilfe), 3rd phase (supported months November 2020 to June 2021): Application from 10th February to 31st August 2021.
(4) Bridging Aid (Überbrückungshilfe), 2nd phase, (supported months September to December 2020): Application deadline 20th October to 31st March 2021.
(5) Digital Allowance (Digitalprämie) (subsidy for digitalisation projects): Application from 2nd November 2020 until 31st March 2021.
(6) Extraordinary Economic November Corona Aid (Novemberhilfe): Application from 25th November 2020 until 30th April 2021.
(7) Extraordinary Economic December Corona Aid (Dezemberhilfe): Application from 23rd December 2020 until 30th April 2021.
(8) Financial assistance for Corona-compliant upgrading of ventilation and air-conditioning systems in buildings of predominantly publicly funded institutions.
This list does not claim to be complete and focuses primarily on Corona Emergency Aids that can be applied for on a temporary basis and which could be relevant for artists, cultural workers and creative companies.
Our advisory center of Kreativ Kultur Berlin provides up-to-date information on the wide range of Corona Emergency Aid and support measures offered by the state and federal governments, in particular the programs of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. As an official consulting partner, Kreativ Kultur Berlin answers questions that go beyond IBB's FAQ catalog via the IBB contact form as part of Emergency Aid IV 4.0.
All other important information about our own events within the framework of Kreativ Kultur Berlin can be found here, all other important questions and answers about the Berlin Corona help and Corona help of the federal government can be found in our FAQ section.
2. EMERGENCY MEASURES
ARTISTS' SOCIAL INSURANCE (KSK)
SERVICES OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCY
SUSPENSION AND REDUCTION OF TAX PAYMENTS
3. HANDLING OF SUBSIDIES
4. LEGAL RIGHTS AND COMPENSATION
OBLIGATION TO FILE FOR INSOLVENCY
COMPENSATION FOR QUARANTINE, BAN ON ACTIVITIES OR...
- 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
(1) Emergency Aid IV 4.0 (Soforthilfe IV 4.0) is a support for companies in the culture and media sector that have been hit particularly hard by the current Corona restrictions. In order to be able to continue to offer assistance at the state level in the event of a pandemic threat to survival, the Emergency Aid IV program is entering a fourth round with a funding period from March to June 2021. What is new in the fourth program round is the process: It is no longer possible to apply for Emergency Aid IV 4.0 directly, but downstream via Bridging Aid III. An application for Bridging Aid, 3rd phase, from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy must therefore be submitted first - by March 31, 2021. Subsequently, the Senate Department for Culture and Europe and the Senate Chancellery, in cooperation with IBB, implement an expression of interest procedure for Emergency Aid IV 4.0, disbursements from Emergency Aid IV 4.0 are expected to take place from May 2021. Here is a detailed FAQ.
(2) Extraordinary Economic November Corona Aid (Novemberhilfe) supports companies, businesses, self-employed people, associations and institutions that are directly and indirectly affected by the temporary closings. Applications for the November aid can be submitted until the 30th April 2021. This aid is now being extended due to the extension of the closings until the 20th December 2020. Applications for the Extraordinary Economic December Corona Aid (Dezemberhilfe) can be submitted until the 30th April 2021.
Here is the registration for the direct application.
Here is the registration for third parties.
Here is an overview of the November and December aid. Helpful tips for the application, some overviews and templates can be found here and in the downloads section here. Here is a tutorial that guides you through the application process. Here is a very detailed FAQ.
(3) The program Bridging Aid (Überbrückungshilfe), 3rd phase, supports companies, self-employed people and freelancers from all sectors with annual sales of up to €750 million who can demonstrate a drop in sales of at least 30 percent in the period from November 2020 to June 2021 compared to the reference month in 2019. Applications can only be submitted through accredited tax consultants and auditors. The application window is open until August 31, 2021. Click here for the program as well as the FAQ.
Bridging Aid, 3rd phase, (Überbrückungshilfe III) will also include the Restart Aid for solo self-employed (Neustarthilfe für Soloselbstständige), which is an unbureaucratic and quick grant that can also be used for living expenses. Eligible to apply are solo self-employed people who otherwise cannot claim any fixed costs under Bridging Aid, 3rd phase, and who have generated at least 51% of their income from self-employment in the reference period. Income from non-permanent employees (unständig Beschäftigen ) is treated in the same way as income from self-employment. The employment relationship of unständig Beschäftigen is limited to less than one week (employment week of seven consecutive calendar days). This could again make many theater professionals and actors not eligible to apply. The application process is expected to start in February 2021.
More information on the different programs is available here.
Here is a good overview of the quick grants for each Corona month.
(4) 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. Click here to get in touch or for further information. An overview of the program is also available on the website of the Kulturförderpunkt.
(5) The Digital Allowance Berlin (Digitalprämie Berlin) is primarily intended to support self-employed persons and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) based in Berlin. Among others, solo self-employed and freelancers with an income of at least EUR 26,000 are eligible to apply! Grants of up to EUR 7,000 are paid for digitization projects and digital consulting and qualification for solo self-employed and SMEs with up to 10 employees. You can find more information about the program here.
(6) The German Orchestra Foundation has set up an emergency aid fund from which musicians can apply for immediate aid of up to 600 euros. There is also the possibility of making donations to support musicians of opera and concert houses. Further information can be found here.
(7) The two-stage programme "Schutzschirm LIVE" of GEMA 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. Further information here.
(8) 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.
(9) 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.
(10) The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy provides financial assistance for Corona-compliant upgrading of ventilation and air-conditioning systems in public buildings of predominantly publicly funded institutions. It is providing grants from 2021 to 2024. Funding is provided for up to 40 percent of eligible expenses, capped at 100,000 euros. Here you can find more information.
ARTISTS' SOCIAL INSURANCE (KSK)
The Artists' Social Insurance Fund (KSK) has taken various measures for insured persons to cushion financial hardship. 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. Those who do not have unemployment insurance can also apply for basic security (Arbeitslosengeld II), also known as Hartz IV. In addition, the rules on the protection of assets have been simplified. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
If corona-related projects cannot be carried out as planned, the question arises: How will already approved subsidies be handled? Project sponsors who have to cancel events or trips should contact the funding agency directly to find out how to deal with already approved funding. 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 inform the institution. In addition, information from the Federal Cultural Foundation helps project sponsors affected by the Corona crisis in dealing with funding.
For grants paid out within the framework of corona aid, the permissible maximum limit has been temporarily adjusted. You can find more information about this in this article.
4. LEGAL RIGHTS AND COMPENSATION
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.
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. Further information can be obtained from the Federal Ministry of Justice.
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.
- 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
- 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
(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. In addition to live broadcasts of DJ sets, live music and performances, United We Stream is also a platform for discussion rounds, lectures and films on club-cultural topics.
(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.
Creative Sector: Industry news & Market trends
Also a good read