CIF calls for urgent grant support

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Caroline Norbury The Creative Industries Federation (CIF) has issued an urgent call for government grant support for creative businesses and charities that “fall between the gaps”. 

The CIF, the UK’s membership body for creative businesses, has published data from a survey of nearly 2000 members. 

The results show that 42% of creative organisations estimate that their income has decreased by 100% since the outbreak, with 63% predicting a decrease in annual turnover of more than 50% by the end of 2020. 

1 in 7 creative individuals believe they can last less than 4 weeks on existing reserves, while 45% of creative organisations say they do not understand the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS). 

An open letter to the government from the CIF states:

“Despite welcome changes to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), we know from our previous experience with the Enterprise Finance Guarantee - on which CBILS is based - that many creative businesses will still struggle to access these loans, and for those who do, this finance will come too late. 

“Many charities are also still not eligible because their trading income falls beneath the 50% threshold… Grant support is needed now.”

Caroline Norbury, CEO of the CIF (pictured), said: “The crux of it is that creative businesses need money now, and they can’t wait another month. Through no fault of their own, many creative industries businesses are on the brink of collapse - with all the economic knock-on effects and hardship that entails. And more will follow. Government must act rapidly to get grants to where they are needed most. 

“The creative industries are one of the UK’s biggest success stories - previously growing at five times the rate of the wider economy.

"The creative sector will be critical to driving the UK’s economic recovery - and transforming lives for the better in every community - as we re-build. It is essential to ensure that the UK doesn’t become a cultural wasteland post Covid-19.”