About this good practice
The cultural sector and related enterprises have been directly affected by the restrictions placed upon cultural, entertainment, and recreation events to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. To support these enterprises, the Latvian Association of Event Venues and the Latvian Association of Event Producers initiated introduction of the support programme. The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Finance were involved in development of this instrument and the state-owned development finance institution ALTUM was appointed as an executive body.
Support is offered to SMEs registered as organisers of cultural events with the financial turnover at least EUR 40 000 in 2019.
Supported events should be negatively affected by COVID-19 restrictions, have a budget over EUR 15 000 and planned within the next 18 months.
The maximum support is EUR 300 000 per event and EUR 900 000 per supported enterprise. The support can cover the costs of artistic preparation and remuneration for performers and the cost of equipment and technical support.
Support is offered in forms of a working capital loan and a grant.
The total amount of the loan and grant cannot exceed 100% of the event costs. The duration of the loan is up to 2 years with credit holidays up to 18 months and interest rate 2.9%.
The maximum grant is 40% of the total amount of support and cannot exceed EUR 120 000.
Applications and supporting documents can be submitted online using client portal www.mans.altum.lv.
The allocated State financing for the implementation of the measure is EUR 6 000 000. The maximum budget allocated for grants is EUR 2 430 000. By January 2022, the total amount of support provided is EUR 2 710 000.
Evidence of success
By January 19, 2022, a total of 24 projects have been supported, offering working capital loans and grants to 15 enterprises.
Due to continuing limitations in the sector and requests from enterprises, the programme is extended in 2022.
Potential for learning or transfer
Targeted support for enterprises of a specific sector can be best designed and developed with the involvement of industry experts (sectorial NGOs, sectorial ministry, and experts).
Combining grants and loans is a good instrument for efficient support for enterprises.
Regarding the challenges encountered, it is worth mentioning that this is the first financial instrument in Latvia targeted at culture sector enterprises, so there has been a learning curve both for enterprises and ALTUM.
The COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down the submission of applications.