Lucy Thraves


Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme inadequate for suffering music sector, ISM’s flash survey reveals

8:48, 27th April 2020

The Incorporated Society of Musicians’ (ISM) latest flash survey, which focuses on the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has revealed that businesses and organisations in the music sector are at significant risk due to lack of robust and timely financial support.

Of all the music business and organisations to complete the survey, not one reported a successful application to the CBILS scheme.

More than a third reported that if they do not receive financial support within a week, they will need to make their entire workforce redundant. Over 25% said that they were at risk of complete closure.

Comments from respondents included:

‘Applied on 23 March. Sent holding email. Absolutely zero response back since then… nearly a month now.’

‘Slow and challenging. We are expected to use their “language” while they have no comprehension of ours.’

‘Poor. Four weeks since applying and still no response from my bank. It has just been poor all round at every level.’

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the ISM, said that the survey demonstrated that the ‘CBILS scheme is not fit for purpose and is putting the music sector at significant financial risk.

‘Covid-19 has already had a devastating impact on the music sector with many venues and theatres having closed their doors, festivals and concerts being cancelled and many of the music workforce having lost work overnight.

‘The music sector will feel the long-lasting effects of this crisis even when the lockdown is lifted, as it is unlikely that normal activities will resume, particularly if social distancing rules are still in place and mass gatherings are not permitted.’


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