The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have an unprecedented impact on those in the arts and culture sector. The new Commercial Entertainment Capital Grant Scheme (CECGS) is a once-off scheme with a funding allocation of €5 million to support the commercial arts sector.
This new scheme is a targeted support for commercial businesses operating from a premises in the arts, music and entertainment sector and, which have been significantly negatively impacted by restrictions introduced by the government under public health regulations to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grants will be paid to successful applicants as a contribution to the capital costs associated with re-opening after closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Should the scheme be oversubscribed, the Minister may, subject to the availability of funding at the time, allocate additional funding to the scheme and any eligible applicants who were not funded may be offered funding if the scheme is extended without the requirement to reapply.
This scheme will be open to businesses that operate in the arts and culture sectors including music, entertainment, live performance, drama, commercial classes in the arts.
Businesses whether sole traders, partnerships or incorporated entities that operate from a premises, that is not a domestic dwelling, and which is frequented by audiences, classes or the public in general may apply.
Business types eligible for funding under this scheme will include businesses operating in the arts sector as defined by the Arts Act 2003, that is:
“”arts” means any creative or interpretative expression (whether traditional or contemporary) in whatever form, and includes, in particular, visual arts, theatre, literature, music, dance, opera, film, circus and architecture, and includes any medium when used for those purposes”.
The features of the scheme are as follows:
• Applications will be accepted from companies with VAT-exclusive turnover of €50,000 and above for 2019. This must be verified using an Auditor’s Certificate/Letter signed by an Accountant. While your business may have turnover relating to other sectors, only turnover in relation to activity within the arts sector will be considered relevant turnover for this scheme.
• the Auditor’s Certificate/Letter signed by an Accountant must confirm the company operates in the arts and culture sector.
• Support will be offered by way of a single once-off payment to the value of 5% of the VAT-exclusive turnover of the arts and culture activity of the business, up to a maximum award of €25,000.
• The business must be able to demonstrate that their average monthly turnover was no more than 25% of their average monthly turnover for 2019 for any consecutive six months during the period 12 March – 2020 – 30 September 2021. This must be confirmed on the Auditor’s Certificate/Letter signed by an Accountant.
• Turnover eligible for this scheme can only be generated by activities in the State.
• Businesses must intend to resume trading in full once government restrictions are eased and will be required to declare this when applying.
• The business must be located in the State and the address of the business for tax purposes must be located wholly within a geographical region for which COVID-19 restrictions are/were in operation.
• Profits of the trade or trading activities of the business must be chargeable to tax under Case I or II of Schedule D.
• payments under the scheme are taxable and a tax liability may arise when the business makes its annual tax returns.
• Businesses must have a current eTax Clearance Certificate from the Revenue Commissioners.
• The scheme operates on a self-assessment basis. Businesses are required to retain evidence and documentation that supports the basis for making a claim under this scheme as this may be requested by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under future eligibility checks and for auditing purposes.
• Names, grant amount and county in which the beneficiary is located of successful grantees may be published on the department’s website.
• The department reserves the right to audit a randomly selected sample of eligible applicants’ accounts after the scheme has closed.
A business can make a maximum of one application under this scheme.