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Relief measures drafted to help the arts weather COVID-19

  • Date:2020-02-20
Relief measures drafted to help the arts weather COVID-19

To help the cultural and arts sectors deal with the impact of COVID-19, the Ministry of Culture has held several meetings to discuss short-term relief and mid- to long-term revitalization plans. The Ministry has now sent proposals to the Executive Yuan addressing four aspects, including drafting relief measures aimed at reducing the burden of the situation on businesses, groups, and individuals working in these industries.

During this period, consultations will continue to be held to collect opinions from a broad array of arts and cultural groups. The aforementioned measures proposed by the Ministry span four specific approaches:

1.) Relief assistance for culture and the arts

The Ministry of Culture is formulating a series of relief measures aimed at alleviating the burden on businesses, groups, and individuals operating in culture and the arts, including:

i. Subsidies for operating costs: To reduce the burden of operating expenses, subsidies will be made available to assist with operating costs including staff pay, event cancellations/postponements, and associated refunds, venue rentals, and royalty payments.

ii. Subsidies for response plans: Subsidies will be provided for R&D, personnel training, rehearsals, and other such expenses while COVID-19 is a threat, helping optimize and improve the operating capacity of arts and cultural teams.

2.) Loans and interest subsidies

i. In coordination with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA), the cultural and arts sectors have been incorporated into the MoEA's SME loan package that provides relief loans, interest subsidies, and extended repayment schemes; in addition, assistance will be provided for the application process.

ii. Arts and cultural enterprises that do not qualify for the abovementioned SME loan package will be evaluated and assisted by the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) with preferential loans and interest subsidies.

3.) Streamlined administrative regulations

i. Existing and recurrent subsidies from the Ministry of Culture will be allocated in advance, with a higher proportion paid out in the first installment.

ii. Friendly measures for public cultural venues, including reductions in rent, handling fees, late fees, and other related costs, will be coordinated.

iii. The appraisal, evaluation, and settlement of existing and recurrent subsidies from the Ministry will be streamlined.

4.) Revitalization measures

The Executive Yuan has included the arts and cultural sectors within the scope of the MOEA's plan for the issuing of vouchers. Exhibition venues, music performance spaces, bookstores, and movie theaters are now eligible for voucher use, with pre-purchased exhibition tickets and other forms of consumption within the arts and cultural sectors included as well. The Ministry of Culture will also continue to propose other revitalization plans to expand the scope of support.

The Ministry will also continue to hold consultations on relief and revitalization measures, employing a variety of methods including telephone interviews and online consultations to gain a broader understanding of the various impacts of COVID-19 on different fields and collect relevant recommendations. It will also fight for the inclusion of culture and the arts in special budgets and emergency relief projects.

The Ministry will continue to research relief measures under the special regulations passed by the Executive Yuan on Feb. 20 and report to the Executive Yuan for approval and implementation as soon as possible.