Impact of epidemic on CCI - HUNGARY

/prepared on 20 May 2020/

Statistics show an 80-90% decrease in the activity rate of the cultural and creative sector. Understandably, there are distinctions within the sector. The classic cultural activities (performing art) have come to a full stop, while others due to on-line marketing and selling possibilities suffered less. Due to the decreasing business tax revenues the budget of culture shrank in 2020 compared to the year of 2019. The epidemic only enhanced the complications of financing culture by affecting activities potentially generating income to ensure sustainability. Like in all partner cities the municipal cultural organizations are experiencing a massive loss of income normally generated via city events (festivals, concerts) and services (such as the otherwise well-prospering cinema). This is going to have a far-reaching impact on the operation of culture in the city even after things get back to normal. 

In general, the Government has launched an action plan for the protection of economy including various measures. There is an allocated 60 Billion HUF for saving workplaces, but this possibility concerns mainly the larger employers (mainly in the production sector). Local businesses enjoy a delay in the deadline of paying the local business tax. This measure however is not harmonized with other related legal obligations of businesses and often negatively affects the balance of budget (and thus financing culture) at municipalities like Jászberény.

Measures affecting CCI businesses 
The Government has not introduced measures directly targeting the CCI sector (as defined by StimulArt). However, there have been general measures concerning small and larger businesses and measures aiming to support specific segments of CCI. Typically, the form of help is either direct contribution/support (to a lesser degree) or temporary allowance/exempt regarding business tax and other contributions (e.g. social security). 

The self-employed using the so-called KATA taxation category are free of paying the obligatory monthly contribution temporarily. Actors, performers, artists, creatives in general often choose this taxation form. This applies to only limited types of economic activities (CCI typically included). Businesses in most CCI subsectors are devoid of the obligation to pay social contribution tax (17,5%) and other contributions between March and June 2020. These businesses also enjoy social contribution-exempt to be paid after they employees anyway, for the same period. The Artisjus Hungarian Copyright Office announced a call to support light music performers of respected lifework in difficulty due to the COVID-19 crisis.

CCI on a local/regional level
The administrative level of counties has no competence in taking measures related to CCI support of any kind. In addition to the governmental measures applicable locally, the Municipality of Jászberény has offered a 30% decrease in the rental fees of shops in the city until the end of the 2020, which affect some CCI businesses too. No other measures have been taken due to the budget cuts on the cultural expenditure anyway in 2020.The local stakeholders (Vision Creators’ Association) have also became active by launching an auction of 10 pieces of modern art to support the protection efforts of the city and also the livelihood of local artists. The raised income was shared between the two purposes. 

All large events including festivals, concerts etc. are banned until the 15th of August. In Jászberény (like in most larger cities of Hungary) the first large event is planned to take place on the 20th of August, a national holiday. The city is already preparing for this late summer, early fall programmes. Cultural contents are shared on-line mainly by Jászkerület (StimulArt partrner) but by other stakeholders too to keep the cultural interest of people alive in the city.