Korea Now

Spotlight COVID-19 Rescue Package for Arts Provided by the Government of the Republic of Korea (As of May 8, 2020) 2020-05-08

The Korean government is currently running its COVID-19 rescue package worth over 100 trillion won to stabilize Korean citizens’ livelihood and financial sector. The package includes the general support and special support for the Arts.

I. General Support

1. For Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Small Merchants

 (1) Policy fund loans for small and medium-sized enterprises hit by COVID-19
 - Loan Limit: 1 billion won for each business annually (1.5 billion won for three years)
 - Loan Interest: Policy fund base rate (2.15% for Q1 / floating interest rate)
 - Loan Term: Five years (including the term unredeemed of two years)

 (2) Management stabilization fund (loan) for small merchants hit by COVID-19 (closed on April 8)
 - Eligibility: Small merchants hit by COVID-19
 - Conditions of the Loan: Loan at the fixed rate of 1.75% within five years (term unredeemed of two years and repayment period of three years) / up to 70 million won for each business
  * Businesses that have been hit by COVID-19 (e.g. restaurants, accommodations, wholesale/retail, transport and leisure/travel) and that have seen their sales decrease by more than 10% compared to the same period of the previous year.
  * Small merchants who export to or import from China their products and cultural content and who have been hit by COVID-19.

 (3) Exceptional guarantee for small merchants hit by COVID-19

2. For Korean Citizens

 (1) Financial support for the paid leave of those who have been hospitalized or isolated due to COVID-19

 (2) Emergency support for the cost of family care connected to COVID-19

 (3) Emergency Disaster Relief Funds
 - Eligibility: 1 million won for a household of four persons or more (400,000 won to 1 million won depending on the number of household members)
  * 400,000 won for a one-person household, 600,000 won for a two-person household, 800,000 won for a three-person household and 1 million won for a household of four persons or more
 - Payment Method: Credit/debit card, Prepaid card, Local gift certificate(paper or mobile) used by local governments or digital currency

 (4) Alleviation of the burden of social security contributions and electricity bills

 (5) Support for taxpayers hit by COVID-19 (provided by National Tax Service)
 - Postponement of declarations and payments of up to nine months
 - Postponement of tax collection (up to nine months) and that of a process for the recovery of taxes in arrears (up to one year)
 - Early payment of tax refunds
 - Suspension of tax investigation (including postponement and cancellation)

II. Special Support for the Arts

1. Support That Has Already Been Provided 

 (1) Emergency Livelihood Stabilization Loan for Artists (closed for March, April)
 - Conditions: loan at the rate of 1.2% / loan amount limited to 10 million won / term unredeemed of two years and repayment period of three years

 (2) Creative Reserve Fund Support Project
 - Creative Steppingstone (closed on March 20)
 - Number of Artists Selected and Volume of Support: A total of 12,000 artists selected for the creative reserve fund support project / 3 million won for each person

2. Support Currently Available (As of April 21, 2020)

 (1) Support for the venue rental fee of performing arts companies hit by COVID-19. (Updated on April 21) 

 (2) The Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture has allocated additional budget of 4.5 billion won in order to provide emergency support for artists (arts companies), art educators and planners (min. 500,000 won to max. 20 million won). (Updated on April 8)
 - "Emergency Support for the Arts Hit by COVID-19" for those in the arts and culture scene including artists (arts companies) and planners.
 - "Emergency Support for Art Education, Research and Online Content Production" supporting art educators and project groups.
 - "Emergency Support for Cultural Planning of Artists" supporting freelancers and planners.
 - "Artists’ Secrets of Dealing with a Disaster" collecting and supporting artists’ ideas of how to cope with disasters including COVID-19.
 - "Production and Distribution of Barrier-Free Performance Videos" inviting the audience to enjoy this season’s performances at Namsan Arts Center without any barrier.

 (3) Support for business categories that are eligible for special employment support (e.g. tourism and performing arts) (Ministry of Employment and Labor)
 - Employment Maintenance Support Fund
   Utilizing the employment maintenance support fund and other resources that are necessary for stabilizing employment and unemployed persons’ livelihood within the national budget, the government has eased criteria while providing more support (up to 90% of the business suspension allowance and leave allowance (up to 70,000 won a day)).
 - Loan for On-the-Job Training and Living Expenses: Loan of 2 million won per month, up to 10 million won per person
* Up to 20 million won for business categories eligible for the government’s special support for employment
* Annual rate of 1% (credit guarantee fee not included) / maximum term unredeemed of three years / maximum repayment period of five years (monthly redemption by installment)
 - Loans for Stabilization of Workers’ Livelihood
   The government has eased criteria (e.g. income level) for loans intended to help workers stabilize their livelihood. Such loans could be used for their medical services and children’s education as well as for their living expenses that have become burdensome due to their decreasing income. It has also broadened the scope of those who are eligible while increasing the maximum amount of the loans.

 (4) COVID-19 Information Desk for the Performing Arts (consulting on the Internet or telephone available)
  * Korea Arts Management Service +82(0)2-708-2261, +82(0)2-708-2295

 (5) Supply of Cleaning and Disinfection Products to Small Private Theaters (with 300 seats or less)
  * Theater Safety Support Center at Korea Testing Laboratory

3. Planned Support (As of May 8, 2020)

 (1) COVID-19 Emergency Employment Stabilization Support Fund (Updated on May 8)
 * For freelancers, small business owners, unpaid leave, etc.
 * 500,000 won per month x 3 months + Employment Services

 (2) Financial support for the planning and production of performances at small theaters
  * The government will support 200 theaters, providing up to 60 million won for each theater. This is to help the theaters produce and promote their special performances.

 (3) Financial support for the performance production of artists and arts companies
  * The government will support 160 companies. The support will range between 20 million won and 200 million won, depending on the companies’ conditions including their size.

 (4) Support for ticket prices paid by the audience
  * Each box office will be provided with 3 million discount coupons worth 8,000 won per person.

For More Information

ㅇ Korea’s national response to COVID-19 outbreak [LINK to Korea.net]
ㅇ Korea Arts Management Service
ㅇ E-mail: theapro@gokams.or.kr

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