Measures announced today by the Prime Minister and Treasurer under the government’s $66 billion COVID-19 package will be very important in supporting workers and organisations in the cultural and creative sector, said Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP.
Many casuals and sole traders in the cultural and creative sector face a loss of income for a significant period. They will benefit from the income support measures announced today.
The Government has temporarily waived the asset test and waiting periods for the Jobseeker allowance, while a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement will be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight to both existing and new recipients. This effectively doubles the current JobSeeker allowance.
Small and medium sized arts organisations such as theatre companies, aboriginal art centres, small venues and many others may be able to draw on business support measures announced today.
The Government is providing payments of up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not-for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000. These payments will provide cash flow support to help eligible businesses and not-for-profits keep operating and retain staff. This includes creative and cultural businesses and not-for-profits.
A loan guarantee scheme will also support small to medium-sized businesses. There are no charges for accessing the scheme, and it will be repayment-free for six months. The maximum loan is $250,000, for a term of up to three years. Creative and cultural businesses are eligible to apply. This complements $8 billion in measures announced by Australian banks last week to support small business by deferring small business loan repayments for six months.