What is the COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package?

The COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package is a range of new grant and loan programs to support the different parts of the arts sector over the next 12 months.

 

Background

COVID-19 is having unprecedented effects on communities in Australia and around the world. The Office for the Arts understands that this is a challenging time for all Australians and we acknowledge the impact the coronavirus (COVID-19) is having on the cultural and creative sector.

The Government announced a $250 million package on 25 June 2020 to support artists and organisations to get back in business following the disruptions caused by COVID-19. The COVID-19 Creative Economy Support Package addresses urgent needs within the sector and complements existing whole-of-economy support and assistance measures already in place.

On 17 July, the Government also announced an additional $400 million for the Location Incentive to attract large budget international film and television productions to Australia over the next seven years. The Location Incentive complements the Location Offset. This will establish an ongoing pipeline of work for Australia’s screen production sector.

These measures build on the $27 million targeted support package announced by the Government on 9 April, providing dedicated financial support to Indigenous visual art centres, regional arts and the live music and performance industry.

 

Funding

The support package includes:

  • Seed Investment to Reactivate Productions and Tours—$75 million in competitive grant funding in 2020-21 through the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund. This program will provide capital to help production and event businesses to put on new festivals, concerts, tours and events as social distancing restrictions ease. Grants of varying sizes will be available, from $75,000 through to $2 million.
  • Show Starter Loans—$90 million in concessional loans to assist creative economy businesses to fund new productions and events that stimulate job creation and economic activity. The loans program will complement the RISE Fund and will be delivered through commercial banks, backed by a 100 per cent Commonwealth guarantee.
  • Kick-starting Local Screen Production—$50 million for Screen Australia for a Temporary Interruption Fund that will support local film and television producers to secure finance and start filming again, which will support thousands of jobs in the sector. Filming of new productions has largely been halted as insurers are not providing coverage for COVID-19.
  • Supporting Sustainability of Sector-Significant Organisations—$35 million to provide direct financial assistance to support significant Commonwealth-funded arts and culture organisations facing threats to their viability due to COVID-19, which may include organisations in fields including theatre, dance, circus, music and other fields. The Government will partner with the Australia Council to deliver this funding.
  • Creative Economy Taskforce—establishment of a ministerial taskforce to partner with the Government and the Australia Council to implement the JobMaker plan for the creative economy.

 

Timing

In coming weeks, the guidelines for the grant and loan programs will be released and the members of the Creative Economy Taskforce will be announced.

 

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