The Finnish government is preparing an aid package to support businesses related to culture, art, physical activity (sports) and the event production industry, with the aim of helping them recover from the negative effects of the pandemic.
The overall package amounts to 230.86 million euros and will bee included in the second supplementary budget proposal, which will be submitted to Parliament on 29 April.
According to government information, with this support package the government headed by Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) wants to "support content producers and create conditions for organisers to generate work in the sector and provide people with opportunities to participate in events when society will open up."
"The government wants to help culture, art, physical activity and the event production industry recover from the pandemic as part of the reconstruction of the whole of society and people’s recovery. This additional appropriation will support actors in these sectors and ensure that activities can continue," the government explained in a press release.
The financial package takes into account the plurality of the sector and the different forms of work, such as gig workers, self-employed workers, sole entrepreneurs, freelancers and those operating under company names.
Altogether 127.36 million of the resources will be allocated to culture and art, 18.5 million to physical activity and 85 million to the event production industry.
Culture and art together comprises grants and subsidies awarded to those operating in the cultural industry. The appropriations will be allocated widely to various fields of art and culture. Around half, 64.8 million euros, would be allocated in the form of grants to professionals in the industry and as subsidies to sole entrepreneurs and those operating under company names. The funds would be distributed by the Arts Promotion Centre (Taike).
The Ministry of Education and Culture would allocate a total of 15 million euros to independent corporations in different fields of arts, 20 million to national art institutions and theatres, orchestras and museums that are granted central government transfers, and 10.5 million to operators of limited companies with a turnover of less that 150,000 euros that organise cultural events and festivals, summer theatres and religious summer services organised as non-profit activities.
A total of 3.5 million euros would be allocated to cultural heritage actors and club houses, 4 million to providers of basic education in the arts that are not eligible for central government transfers, and 1.5 million to agencies in the field.
Grants for small and medium-sized cinemas would be allocated 8 million euros, which would be distributed by the Finnish Film Foundation.
An appropriation of 18.5 million is proposed for physical activity and sport. Altogether 9 million of the appropriation would be allocated to sports clubs, 6 million to national and regional physical activity and sports organisations and 3.5 million to events that have had to be cancelled or have suffered losses as well as to future events.
Altogether 85 million will be reserved for an event guarantee, which is currently being prepared by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
Event organisers and their subcontractors could apply for an event guarantee from the State Treasury. The guarantee would be an advance payment commitment given to event organisers for the costs the organisers declare. If an event were to be cancelled or its size restricted by law or by orders of an authority, compensation would be paid for 85% of the actual costs incurred.
The guarantee would apply to events cancelled between 1 June and 31 December 2021.