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Second wave of COVID-19 relief subsidies to start May 4

  • Date:2020-04-30
Second wave of COVID-19 relief subsidies to start May 4

The Ministry of Culture's "Arts and Culture Relief 2.0 (藝文紓困2.0)" plan will be open for applications starting May 4. The plan includes two forms of subsidies to counter the projected effects of COVID-19 on Taiwan's cultural and arts sectors:

1.) Business and Personal Subsidies for Reducing Operational Difficulties (各類型藝文事業及自然人減輕營運衝擊補助)

For business applicants, the Ministry of Culture will continue the "Arts and Culture Relief 1.0 (藝文紓困1.0)" plan's core principle of prioritizing staff pay by subsidizing a portion of pay for the months of April through June this year, along with a one-time working capital injection. In addition, the Ministry is also putting out subsidies for boosting corporate response efforts to the coronavirus pandemic, offering a maximum of NT$2.5 million per business in subsidies.

For individuals, subsidies will be based on the Ministry of Labor's "Living Allowances for the Self-Employed and Those Without Fixed Employers (自營作業者或無一定雇主之勞工生活補貼)," offering a monthly payment of NT$10,000 per person for the three months of April through June. In addition, the Ministry of Culture will review production or other sunk costs as submitted by applicants and increase aid accordingly for a maximum total of NT$60,000 per person; this subsidy, however, is not eligible to those receiving payments from the aforementioned "living allowance" program of the Ministry of Labor.

The Ministry of Culture added that workers in the arts and culture who — receive labor insurance coverage through trade unions, have insured pay of less than NT$24,000, and whose personal income did not meet the taxable standard in 2018 — may additionally receive a living allowance of up to NT$30,000 from the Ministry of Labor upon approval by the Ministry.

Arts and cultural workers who have not applied for the Ministry of Labor's program, regardless of whether they are eligible for labor insurance, can attach evidence of how they've been impacted by the pandemic and apply to the Ministry of Culture for the "Subsidy for Reducing Operational Difficulties (減輕營運衝擊補助)" for April through June.

The Ministry added that if an individual has received an "Arts and Culture Relief 1.0" subsidy and there have been no recent impacts from the pandemic since, they need not resubmit the relevant information and may instead simply note that they are renewing their application for April, May, and June. Should an applicant not have previously submitted such information, they may attach it to their new application for consideration by the Ministry.

2.) Subsidies for Staff and Operational Costs for Struggling Businesses (藝文艱困事業員工薪資及營運補助)

For struggling arts and culture businesses that employ a large number of staff and are seeing substantial jumps in operating costs or over 50% drops in revenues between January and June this year, a second category of subsidies is available covering April through June.

These subsidies will cover up to NT$20,000 in pay per employee along with a one-time operating capital injection, and are not subject to the same NT$2.5-million cap as the "Business and Personal Subsidies" category. During the subsidy period, however, the recipient business may not furlough or lay off staff, nor reduce their pay, and neither may the company disband, close down, or conduct any other action that violate the agreed terms.

The Ministry of Culture has emphasized that the "Arts and Culture Relief 2.0" plan primarily subsidizes basic needs like staff pay and business operations, aiming to ensure that arts and cultural workers are looked after. It is hoped that this renewed effort will help businesses, staff, and the self-employed weather this storm and, once the pandemic has passed, revitalize their respective industries.

As long as a business or individual is in a category listed in the relief regulations announced by the Ministry of Culture or in a relevant up- or downstream industry — including performing arts troupes, bookstore owners, publishers, cinema operators, film/television/audio producers, performance programmers, or even actors, dancers, musicians, writers, lighting/sound technicians, visual artists, and artisans — then they are eligible to apply for assistance.

Read the original press release here.

Online Resources

Applications can now be filed online: 

The Ministry of Culture's online portal for information on pandemic prevention and stimulus efforts for the arts and culture: 

"Business and Personal Subsidies" and the application process:  

"Subsidies for Struggling Businesses" and the application process: