As part of a €50 million suite of supports for the live entertainment sector, the music and entertainment business assistance scheme opened for applications on 9 June. This scheme aims to support businesses operating solely in the live entertainment sector that do not qualify for other business supports and have been significantly impacted by Covid restrictions. This scheme will see support offered by way of three levels of once-off, flat payments: €2,500 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover of between €20,000 and €50,000 with minimum business costs of €3,000 incurred from 1 April 2020 to 31 May 2021; €4,000 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover of between €50,001 and €100,000 with minimum business costs of €6,000 from 1 April 2020 to 31 May 2021; and €5,000 for businesses with VAT-exclusive turnover in excess of €100,000 with minimum business costs of €7,500 from 1 April 2020 to 31 May 2021.
Businesses, whether sole traders, partnerships or incorporated entities operating exclusively within the live entertainment sector may apply. Businesses of musicians and singers of all genres are eligible to apply, as are sound engineers, lighting engineers, audio engineers, stage managers, stage technicians, sound and lighting equipment suppliers, live-streaming equipment suppliers and full-time disc jockeys. The scheme was designed to reach out and provide support for those who have not been supported to date.
It should be noted that this scheme is not a horizontal income support and grants are intended to provide a contribution towards business costs. The scheme was developed in consultation with the sector and the eligibility criteria aim to strike an appropriate balance, having regard to other available supports and the need to reach as many professional musicians and crew as possible. To date, just over 300 applications have been submitted for the scheme. Of these, approximately 50 have been approved and three have been unsuccessful. All details in respect of this scheme, including guidelines and the MEBAS application portal, can be accessed on my Department's website.