Cyprus has adopted supportive measures to aid businesses and employees, including those within the cultural and creative sectors. The support package contains, among others, the following measures:
- A Suspended Operations Plan for all businesses that have (regardless of whether their business has been suspended or not) suffered losses beyond 25% of their turnover.
- Businesses should aim at avoiding redundancies, while the affected workers will receive unemployment allowance for as long as the business is under suspended operations.
- A Support Plan for Small Businesses, for businesses employing up to 5 people, under the condition that they keep their employees on staff and have suffered a loss bigger than 25% of their turnover. The plan foresees a subsidy of 70% of workers’ salary. The conditions and safeguards of the plan will be announced along with the application.
- The obligation to pay bank instalments, including interest on credit facilities granted and/or purchased and/or managed by financial institutions, is suspended for all beneficiaries until the end of the year. The beneficiaries are natural persons, legal entities governed by public law, self-employed persons and undertakings who have had no previous delays of more than 30 days in paying the instalment in line with contractual obligations on 29 February 2020.
Culture specific measures
Apart from these general measures by the Cyprus Government, the main focus is on providing financial resources and support to artists and institutions affected and to compensate for damages caused by cancellations of events and activities. Thus, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth has decided the following:
- Emergency grant of a fixed amount of EUR 900 for professionals of the creative and cultural sector.
- Increase, by 50%, of the amount provided for the Purchase of Art Works for the State Collection.
- Enhance the screening of European and Cypriot film productions.
- Promote online film and audiovisual activity in short films, documentaries and animation.
- Operating expenses: Support of cultural entities by financing their operating expenses in order to sustain their viability.
Readjustment of existing programmes
- Subsidy programmes
- Flexibility and adjustments regarding funding expenditure, administration, reporting in current programmes.
- Funding for online presentation of an already approved activity.
- Partial prepayment of planned activities which will be implemented until the first semester of 2021. Approved beneficiaries who had already committed to participate in events locally and abroad or who have made arrangements for the organisation of events/activities will be proportionately (suggestion for 60%) compensated.
- Financial and institutional support
- Continuation of financial and institutional support of the operation and support of institutions that offer cultural programmes to the public, namely cultural centres and theatres.
- Film production
- With regard to the funding of filmmakers (for films that were already granted government funding), more flexibility will be allowed on formal requirements of grant programmes.
- Extension of all ongoing movie productions that have been signed with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth.
- Rescheduling of the continuation or commencement of filming for productions affected by the crisis in consultation with the Cultural Services and the Cyprus Cinema Advisory Committee.
- Rescheduling of all approved productions, of all categories, for 2020-2024.
- Regarding film productions that were either in the proces of filming or had prepared for filming for the months of March to June 2020 and were forced to halt production:
- A grant of a percentage of the total amount of confirmed losses due to the pandemic. Losses should not include amounts that fall within or are covered by the general financial framework of state aid to corporations (e.g. salaries of permanent staff etc.) or are covered by insurance companies with which they have entered into agreements.
The Ministry is also in close cooperation with the Cyprus Theatre Organisation in order to support the professionals and producers in the field of theatre.