I am acutely aware of the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the arts/culture and live entertainment sectors. I have engaged with numerous stakeholders in the sector during the course of the pandemic to ensure that appropriate supports were put in place.
To support the industry through this difficult period I have to date allocated funding for a suite of measures designed to sustain and support live performance and employment opportunities in the sector, including the Music and Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS). The aim of this scheme is to make a contribution to the overheads of businesses, specifically musicians and related crew that have been significantly negatively affected by COVID-19 have not been able to perform or stage performances and do not qualify for other business supports.
The initial phase of this scheme closed for applications on 30 September and I was pleased to launch a second phase of this scheme last week. MEBAS Phase 2 will see support offered by way of four levels of flat payments:
- €1,500 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover of €15,000 - €20,000 with minimum business costs of €1,600 incurred from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.
- €2,500 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover of €20,000 - €50,000 with minimum business costs of €2,600 incurred from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.
- €4,000 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover of €50,000 - €100,000 with minimum business costs of €4,800 incurred from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.
- €5,000 for businesses with VAT-exclusive turnover in excess of €100,000 with minimum business costs of €6,000 incurred from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.
Under this scheme, self employed businesses including musicians, singers, lighting and sound crew and audio equipment suppliers operating exclusively within the commercial live entertainment sector are eligible to apply. Applications may be made via the MEBAS Phase 2 application portal on my Department’s website. This scheme will close for applications on 18 October.
Officials in my Department have engaged with the applicant the Deputy refers to and have provided assistance in relation to the application process.