News Sustaining Creative Workers Initiative. 26 April 2020 Read time: 2 min The Victorian State Government has announced a new $2.2 million Sustaining Creative Workers initiative. This program provides “quick response grants for Victorian-based independent creatives and micro-organisations with at least five years of professional experience.” The Sustaining Creative Workers initiative offers: Grants of up to $5,000 for individuals, sole traders and freelancers; and Grants of up to $10,000 for collectives, micro-organisations and businesses (fewer than 5 FTE staff); and Up to $2,500 in additional access funding for applications from Deaf and Disabled creatives, artists, arts workers and disability-led organisations / businesses. Victoria’s creative sector impact. The impact and importance of Victoria’s creative sector is considerable. Certainly, coronavirus and sweeping lockdowns have highlighted the cultural and social importance of art; after binging 78 seasons of whatever-you’re-watching or listening to in self-isolation, it’s pretty hard to disagree. Beyond its social importance, the creative sector is also a “jobs powerhouse, contributing $31 billion to the [Victorian] economy annually and employing 260,000 people – 8 per cent of the state’s workforce.” Despite this, creatives have been sounding alarm bells for weeks; flagging lost work due to COVID-19 and simultaneous ineligibility for State or Federal economic support. For creatives, it’s been a perfect storm: cinemas, theatres, galleries, music venues and live events were first to experience mass closures back in March. Moreover, many of these organisations have ‘lumpy’ cashflow at the best of times. Further, their highly-seasonal nature and tendency towards ‘grants-in-advance’ make demonstrating financial downturn in a given month very difficult. And all of this this hinders their access to stimulus like the Australian Government’s JobKeeper program. Even when an organisation does qualify, the largely casual and freelance workforce means many individual practitioners and creative sector workers are still disproportionately excluded from programs like JobKeeper. In response, the Sustaining Creative Sectors program is open to creatives across all disciplines and work arrangements. It aims to allow creatives to: continue work in their creative field, adapt to change, research and develop projects, develop their product or skills, and/or connect with new audiences or markets. The program will be delivered state-wide, in partnership with Regional Arts Victoria and Arts Access Victoria. Applications open: 9:00AM on 30 April 2020. To learn more, visit Creative Victoria or apply via their Grants Portal. We’re here. If you’re a creative organisation or practitioner looking for financial guidance or assistance with JobKeeper, contact us. We can help: with personal and business cashflow management. determine your eligibility for JobKeeper, including: performing turnover calculations for sole traders, freelancers, micro-organisations and businesses; helping to identify eligible employees (if any); getting payroll in order. enrol you for JobKeeper. assist with your ongoing responsibilities: payroll and reporting to the ATO; reconfirming employee eligibility; reconciling JobKeeper payments. plan for your future in a Post-COVID-19 world. Learn more about Kearney Group’s Business Advisory services, including our leading business growth and strategy program, Ko-Lab.