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

Our advisors at Kreativ Kultur Berlin will provide you with information on the wide range of Corona Emergency Aid available from the state and federal governments, in particular the programs of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. FAQs on all current Corona Aid can be found here. As an official consulting partner, Kreativ Kultur Berlin answers questions that go beyond IBB's FAQ catalog as part of Emergency Aid IV 4.0.

At this point, we will give you an overview of aid and support measures that can be supplemented with Corona Emergency Aid from the state and federal government. The list will be updated continuously. However, this list does not claim to be exhaustive and we would like to point out that the information is not legally binding, but we hope that we can help you here.
 

CONTENT:

1. INFORMATION FOR THE INDIVIDUAL CREATIVE SECTORS

2. AID AND SUPPORT MEASURES 
    SERVICES OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT AGENCY
    SHORT-TIME WORK
    SUSPENSION AND REDUCTION OF TAX PAYMENTS
    
CHILD SUPPLEMENT
    CONVERSION AND UPGRADE OF STATIONARY AND ROOM AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS

    COMPENSATION FOR QUARANTINE,  BAN ON ACTIVITIES OR CLOSURE OF SCHOOLS AND KINDERGARTENS
    ARTISTS' SOCIAL INSURANCE (KSK)
    CREDIT COLLECTION
    OTHER HELP OFFERS

 3. HANDLING OF SUBSIDIES
    PROJECT FUNDING

 4. LEGAL RIGHTS AND COMPENSATION
    CANCELLATION FEES
    RESIDENCE PERMIT
    FAQ

 5. FURTHER INFORMATION
 


1. 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



2. AID AND SUPPORT MEASURES


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. 


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. 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


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.


CONVERSION AND UPGRADE OF STATIONARY AND ROOM AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEMS

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.


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. 

News on improvement for self-employed in compensation for closure of schools and kindergartens: The VGSD's demands for more justice
for the self-employed in compensation for loss of earnings due to childcare will now be implemented by amending the Infektionsschutzgesetz.
The amendment is due to come into force at the end of March.


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.


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.


OTHER HELP OFFERS

(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. Click here to get in touch or for further information. An overview of the program is also available on the website of the Kulturförderpunkt.

(2) 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.

(3) 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.

(4) #AlarmstufeRot emergency aid: The non-profit association #AlarmstufeRot pays emergency aid to those in need of economic assistance from the event industry. This is financed by donations. You can find more information here.

 


3. HANDLING OF SUBSIDIES
 

PROJECT FUNDING

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. 

 


4. LEGAL RIGHTS AND COMPENSATION

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.
 

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


5. 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


CURRENT NEWS, SURVEYS AND PUBLICATIONS:

You can find them daily on Creative City Berlin here.

Creative Sector: Industry news & Market trends


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