As self employed folk ourselves, Claire and I understand how stressful the past couple of weeks have been.
Not only are we all worrying about the health and wellbeing of our families, friends and people we love and care about, but many people have seen their incomes plunge. If yours has, please read on. I have rounded up some sources of support, including one (the public sector supplier note, point 2 below) which has had hardly any media coverage but will be extremely important if it applies to your situation.
- The Government announced details of its support package for self-employed people on Thursday evening. This came after extensive lobbying from self employed people including musicians (plus the MU and ISM). The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme will support around 95% of self-employed people, according to the Chancellor. Those eligible will receive a cash grant (not until June) worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit (up to £2500 per month) over the last three years. You can’t apply yet. HMRC will contact you if you are eligible (you need to have completed a tax return; if you have not done so yet, you have 4 weeks to do so). More details here (MU) and here (IPSE).
- If you “supply” ie sell to the public sector (schools, for example, on a self-employment basis) then this is relevant and has NOT had much media coverage at all. A Government ‘procurement policy note’ published last week encouraged commissioners to support suppliers through payment up front and other measures. Public bodies must ‘put in place the most appropriate payment measures to support supplier cash flow; this might include a range of approaches such as forward ordering, payment in advance/pre-payment’ according to the note. Further details here (Government website; scroll down and it’s the first pdf document).
- The Arts Council is offering some financial support to freelance ‘artists and creative practitioners’ including educators. They mention musicians and composers. They are publishing full details on Monday but there’s quite a lot of info here.
- Help Musicians has created a temporary Financial Hardship Fund and is offering £500 to self-employed, professional working musicians who are suffering significant financial hardship. Details here.
- The Musicians Union has created a Hardship Fund, for members, too. Grants of £200 are available. Details here.
- Deferment of your next income tax payment on account, due at the end of July for people registered as self-employed. Details here.
- There’s a new, dedicated Corona Advice for Musicians page here. This is a collaboration between Help Musicians, the Incorporated Society of Musicians, The Ivors Academy, the Music Managers Forum, the Music Producers Guild, the Musicians’ Union, and UK Music.
- Hope the above are helpful if needed. Also see guidance from The ISM and The MU.
- Please do let us know if this is helpful to you and feel free to email us if you have found other sources of support you would like us to share.
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