Lisbon City Council has taken a range of extraordinary measures to protect culture. These include €200,000 in immediate support to the city’s Fado houses, as well as exemptions on rent payments for both cultural institutions and individual artists operating in municipal spaces. Read more here
A new package of measures, worth 25 million PLN, exempts businesses from things like property tax, rubbish collection charges and rent in municipal buildings. Similar measures are being put in place for NGOs, as well as offering additional assistance for activities to control the coronavirus, and co-financing options for some labour costs. Read more here and here
Cardiff Council has now distributed nearly £50m to Cardiff businesses in grant aid as part of the on-going COVID-19 financial rescue package. The city council is contacting business eligible to receive the grants offered in the support package, which covers almost all types of business. Read more here
The city council designated 100 officers to process and deliver grants offered to business owners, which compound a total of £20m. This endeavour is set to help the local economy and those in need are still encouraged to apply. Read more here
The Economic Response Coordination Center of the city, headed by the first Deputy Mayor, is leading the way on the economic reaction to the crisis. Divided into budget and reactivation measures, this division will allow for a better understanding of the city’s situation and a enhance the decision-making process. 25 million euros support package and taxes deferral are the first measures put in place by Barcelona’s city council. Read more here
More than 10,000 small businesses in communities across Edinburgh are set to receive rates relief and emergency cash grants over the coming weeks. Through a coordinated financial package in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Edinburgh’s city council is releasing tens of millions of pounds from the Government’s Coronavirus Business Support Fund. Worth £10,000 and £25,000, these grants shall help successful applicants stay in business and protect local jobs. The council promises to process applications within 10 working days. Read more here
The City of Edinburgh Council has approved the immediate release of £4.69m (€5.32m) of cultural grant funding to support the cultural and creative sector in the city. The Cultural Grant Funding the Council provides annually is to be repurposed to support cultural organisations during Covid-19. Among others, this will support the Edinburgh Festivals, five of which have recently announced cancellation, as well as offer support to the wider cultural community. Grant funding has been specifically allocated to support the Council’s work on Diversity and Inclusion, providing support to BAME artists and cultural organisations in Edinburgh during COVID-19. read more here
£20m has been distributed to Cardiff businesses in grant aid by Cardiff Council in the past week as part of a COVID-19 rescue package. Some 1,300 companies applied for the aid, which is being administered by the Council in Cardiff on behalf of Welsh Government. It follows the Welsh Government’s announcement last week of a £1.9bn support package for businesses in Wales to help them survive during the outbreak. Read more here
In order to tackle the economic problems coming with the COVID-19 crisis, Sofia has set up a temporary economic council to elaborate measures to support local businesses. The proposed ideas include suspension and exemption of local taxes, municipal bank guarantees for small and medium enterprises for up to 50% of the loan, introduction of new e-services and free parking zones. The measures will be proposed to the municipal council for approval. An analytical report entitled “Assessment of COVID-19 effect on Sofia economy” outlining the three most likely scenarios was published. You can download the report here (in Bulgarian)
The local authority in Linz have set up a grant scheme to ensure the future of hard-hit cultural and sporting venues. Clubs or associations that are using municipal properties will also likely be supported through rent exemptions. Read more here
Small businesses and freelancers in Berlin can get grants of up to €5,000 as emergency aid. The package consists a total of €100 million and is aimed at small and micro enterprises with a maximum of five employees, which have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus crisis. This includes creative industries and culture. Since culture also needs publicity, the city has initiated ‘Berlin (a)live‘ for online events.
In order to protect jobs and income of freelancers, small and medium enterprises and cultural institutions, the city of Utrecht complements the national Dutch support programme with local initiatives aimed to provide quick results. The measures include suspended collection of taxes and rent as well as compensation for cancelled events. The measures and reassurance have been communicated through a letter in Dutch and English.
Dusseldorf has established an aid fund for local companies to bridge financial distress caused by the coronavirus. The fund includes €500,000, with a maximum of €5,000 per company. This serves as interim aid before the State of North Rhine-Westphalia and the Federal Government offer concrete services for businesses. Read more (in German) here.
The European Commission has adopted a temporary framework to enable member states to use the full flexibility foreseen under state aid rules to support the economy in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak: Direct grants, selective tax advantages and advance payments, and state guarantees for loans taken by companies from banks. Member States will also be able to provide state guarantees to ensure banks keep providing loans to the customers that need them. Read more here
Those aged over 65 are offered a flatrate taxi fare of €1 when travelling to hospitals. Other measures include free parking to ensure, especially vulnerable people, do not have to leave to move their vehicles. The city is also making sure that elderly people receive meals at home. Read more here and here
To support economic actors from artisans to small enterprises, Nantes is taking a range of actions including tax exemption, a single information point with a dedicated phone number, and funding with the Région des Pays de Loire. Read more here
In order to promote new types of events and community building efforts, the city’s new fund offers up to €5,000 per applicant to come up with innovative and digital solutions to engage people in culture, sports and youth work. Read more here
The City of Milan has launched an open call to attract the efforts of private donors. The appeal received €800,000 in its first day. The money will be used to help those most affected by the crisis, and towards the resumption of normal city activities. Read more here
Advance payments for artists whose shows have been postponed, subsidies for grassroots culture and a new timing and programme for the festival Grec 2020 to include as many productions by local companies as possible – Barcelona has initiated ten measures to support culture in the city in the face of COVID-19. Read more here