In view of the impact of the novel coronavirus pneumonia, people from different social sectors are now facing difficulties and challenges. The Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from the Portuguese acronym) and the Cultural Industry Fund (hereinafter referred to as “the Fund”) always pay close attention to the current situation of local cultural and creative industries, and assist the cultural industries from various aspects and perspectives to work through difficult times by introducing various supporting measures and plans.
During the period of the epidemic, the IC and the Fund continue to pay close attention to and maintain close communication with the cultural industries. The Fund has adopted a measure of deferring repayment of loans for one year for 75 funded cultural and creative enterprise projects, which involve loan repayment of 36 million patacas; the funded enterprises can negotiate to extend the repayment period appropriately to reduce the repayment amount for each installment and extend the implementation period of their projects, as well as the period of submitting the related reports; the enterprises can also apply for receiving the next subsidy payment in advance or alternating the use of the fund, such as using the fund which is originally for promotional use on regular expenses, especially paying the rent or the salaries of the employees.
Considering the impact of the epidemic, IC extends the time for grantees of the “Subsidy Programme Series for Macao’s Cultural and Creative Industries” to complete their plans, including the implementation period of subsidy programmes for feature films, original song albums and fashion design samples. In order to implement the measure “Welfare-to-Work” of the SAR Government, IC will actively create favourable working conditions for local cultural and artistic practitioners. It plans to launch an open call for proposals for “Online Handicraft Teaching” in the first half of the year, calling for proposals of handicraft teaching from artistic practitioners and introducing them in video form on the relevant online platforms, thereby promoting Macao’s handicraft brands and creative achievements. In addition, IC plans to launch an online learning programme in cultural and creative field, allowing the industries to further their expertise in cultural and creative professions during the period of the epidemic; continue to launch activities to cultivate cultural and creative talents, support the development of the cultural industries and provide platforms for cultural industries to showcase their works. Details of the plans will be announced in due course. In order to support social and economic recovery, tenants of properties under the Cultural Affairs Bureau will be exempted from rental for three months.
The Fund is preparing to launch a number of special funding programmes, in order to help the enterprises to explore new market after the epidemic, including cultural tourism, community creativity and promotion of cultural performances in the Bay Area and overseas markets. Details of the plans will be announced in due course. Meanwhile, the Fund also pays close attention to the development of the epidemic outside Macao, in order to help the enterprises to restart their cooperation projects which have been suspended due to the epidemic timely.
The IC and the Fund will work with the cultural and creative practitioners to fight against the epidemic, and will continue to bring to the public different forms of cultural and creative activities in the future, working together for social recovery.