“Recent statistics released by Standard and Poor’s have identified the arts industry as one of the sectors that were most hit by the current economic crisis” said Howard Keith Debono, President of MEIA as he was opening today’s press conference held at The Malta Chamber in Valletta.
The Malta Entertainment Industry and Arts Association was formed a month and a half ago. During this period, the Executive members of this association worked around the clock to meet with all stakeholders in the industry.
After such a process, MEIA spearheaded a campaign that saw the recommendation of specific guidelines that safeguarded the interest of the people in the said industry as well as the general wellbeing of our society. Unfortunately enough, the implementation of such measures came late.
Right after that campaign, MEIA proposed a set of 10 points that would help the industry. These 10 points are the following:
- The proposal that would see our industry be listed under Annex A. MEIA also proposed that the wage supplement issued by the Maltese Government should be extended until this sector is fully operational.
- The proposal that sees a ‘cancellation subsidy’.
- The proposal that sees the investment in entertainment venues in order to be ready for re-opening when the time is right.
- The proposal that sees the implementation of a guarantee/facility that is aimed to incentivise the private sector to start planning events for the coming months, keeping their minds at rest should a COVID/ pandemic related cancellation happen.
- The proposal that sees the digitalisation of the industry.
- The proposal that sees the financing of new projects from professional individuals and entities.
- The proposal that sees a fund that would enable the buying of arts.
- The proposal that sees the reduction of taxes for companies that want to invest in our industry.
- The proposal that sees the reduction of tax rates for artists and musicians.
- The proposal that sees the birth of a scheme that injects funds directly into our cultural sector.
“Last but not least, the third and final proposal highlights the fact that we cannot have a ‘one size fits all’ direction but a holistic approach” said Howard Keith Debono.
During today’s press conference MEIA’s Vice-President Toni Attard stated that the situation needs an urgent direction. In light of this, MEIA is also proposing the following four points:
- The necessary help is given to all stake-holders and people in the industry.
- The implementation of strategies that reflect the current needs of different sectors in our industry.
- The creation of incentives that aims at the creation of a long term plan.
- The promotion of local talent.
Mr Attard also said that following a survey which the MEIA carried out with its members, it resulted that 76% of them agree that their business is at risk, 82% are concerned about their wellbeing, 78% are very concerned about generating income, 27% are likely to quit the sector if the current situation remains as it is till the end of the year, and 49% are likely to quit the sector if the current situation remains as it is until June 2021.
Addressing the press conference, The Malta Chamber President Perit David Xuereb said that the creative sector was integral to the design of a new economy for a modern Malta. He stated that the re-engineering of business models that will need to take place in the near future to guarantee a sustainable and resilient economy requires the talent of the creative sector to be at its core.