The initial payouts from the Ministry of Culture’s initial NT$1.5 billion (US$49.95 million) relief package, which drew 7,658 applications, could be requested as early as this week, the ministry said yesterday.
The application period for individuals, groups and businesses in art and cultural sector hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic opened on March 18 and ended on Friday last week, and 90 percent of the applications were submitted this month, Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) told an Executive Yuan news conference in Taipei, where she was joined by Minister Without Portfolio Kung Ming-hsin (龔明鑫).
The ministry started to review the applications even before the deadline, and those who filed last month might be able to request funds as early as this week, she said.
Photo: Lee Hsin-fang, Taipei Times
The ministry in February announced it would offer NT$1.5 billion to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the art and cultural sectors, with NT$800 million coming from the Executive Yuan’s special budget for COVID-19 prevention, relief and recovery and NT$700 million in emergency funds reallocated from other projects.
The initial package was designed to provide subsidies for operational costs or response plans to COVID-19; subsidies to help pay loans and interest; administrative measures such as advanced payments of the ministry’s existing subsidies; and stimulus measures such as the inclusion of arts and cultural venues in the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ stimulus coupon program.
Businesses could apply for up to NT$2.5 million to cover operational costs, while individuals would be eligible for up to NT$60,000, the ministry said.
The ministry earlier this month proposed an expanded relief and recovery package with an additional NT$3.72 billion as part of the central government’s second-phase relief and recovery plan, bringing its total funding to NT$5.22 billion.
The application period for the second-phase package would open on April 30 and end on May 20, Cheng said.
Applicants would be able to submit their application forms online, and the goal was to have the applications approved as early as the end of next month, she said.
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