The $250 million stimulus package for the entertainment and creative industries is wonderful news for our friends and clients who work in the creative economy. Getting your hands on the money, however, could be full of hurdles and complexities.
Chris Chow Creative Lawyers is staying on top of funding guidelines and criteria to bring you the latest information. So, get in touch if you think we may be able to assist.
The JobMaker Creative Economy Package
Australia’s entertainment industry has taken a collective sigh of relief with the Government’s recent announcement of a $250 million package to boost the country’s creative economy. The package is aimed at helping revive a sector that has been devastated by restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Despite being one of the hardest hit industries, the arts sector was initially excluded from the Government’s coronavirus stimulus measures including increases to JobSeeker payments and introduction of the JobKeeper subsidy.
Now, with a successful push from Live Performance Australia, APRA AMCOS, ARIA and other industry leaders and artists, the Government has realised the value of the creative economy, which is worth $112 billion and employs more than 600,000 Australians.
We are delighted that our entertainment and creative industry clients will see some relief as a result of this stimulus package. We’ve seen first-hand the impact of COVID-19 on the arts sector, which essentially shut down the entire industry overnight. Live entertainment was one of the first sectors impacted by lockdowns and restrictions, and it is expected to the be last to return to ‘normal’, in light of social distancing laws preventing gatherings of large crowds.
So, if you’re in the entertainment and creative industries, how can the JobMaker package for the creative economy help you
The package is broken down into different categories:
Seed Investment for Productions and Touring
$75 million of the $250 million package has been allocated to ‘competitive grant funding’, which will provide money for events and production businesses to assist with putting on festivals, tours, concerts and other events as social distancing measures are eased. Grants offered will range from $75,000 to $2 million.
Show Starter Loans
$90 million in loans will be offered to creative economy businesses to help them fund new productions that will stimulate job creation and generate economic activity.
The Government has indicated that job creation and economic activity not only applies to the artists, performers or creatives involved in the industry, but the tradies, caterers and events staff who are involved in making productions possible. These loans will be provided through commercial banks, and fully backed by a 100% guarantee from the Government.
Local Screen Production Funding
Screen Australia will administer $50 million of funding to prop up local film and television producers.
The aim of this funding is to help screen productions get up and running again, by securing finance, facilitating development and restarting filming for projects that were forced to shut down during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many screen productions were forced to stop as insurers would not cover COVID-19.
Support for Arts Organisations
Government funded arts and culture organisations identified as being significant to the sector will be able to receive direct financial assistance to ensure their sustainability through the COVID-19 pandemic. $35 million has been allocated to supporting such organisations, which may include theatres, dance groups, circuses and musical organisations.
Creative Economy Taskforce
In addition to financial assistance, a ministerial taskforce will be established to implement the JobMaker plan and provide guidelines to facilitate the proposed grant and loan programs to support the creative economy.
How can we help?
There will likely be stringent guidelines and contracts to sign to get your hands on the money. Some requirements may be conditional on relevant contracts being in place and your business structure clear – we can assist you with those contracts and business matters.
Also, we are also offering a service to new and emerging artists who may be struggling more than usual during this time, with our fixed-fee Music Contract Review Service.
We know that getting legal advice can be low on your list when funds are tight or things seem straightforward, but we’d hate for the assumption that ‘it’ll be alright’ to ultimately lead to trouble. If you need an Entertainment Lawyer, get in touch with us using the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.