Free Money for Creatives, Photographers & Filmmakers - COVID 19 Stimulus Package CARES ACT

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Tips & Advice

Gear Focus

Apr 7, 2020

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We wanted to take a minute to let members of our community know about some programs available. These programs are there to support you and get you through these tough times. There are programs to help creatives available, but you need to act fast! Take a look at our (non-exhaustive) list of stimulus programs for creatives available now. These are programs to help creatives (and others!) struggling through COVID-19 and the economic downturn. A significant portion of our users are freelancers of whom this information applies directly. So we've compiled a list with a bit of information on some of the stimulus programs out there to help creatives affected by COVID-19.

#1: $1200 Stimulus Payment

We've probably all heard of this one by now. The U.S. government has passed a one-time stimulus package that will be delivering $1200 to individuals making under $75,000 (married couples filing jointly making under $150,000). This stimulus package also includes payments of $500 per qualifying dependent. These are based on your most recent tax return filed. If you haven't filed yet for 2019, these will be based on your 2018 returns. These payments will be automatically distributed based on your tax returns. You don't need to apply for them or fill out any forms. You will be paid via direct deposit automatically if that is how you received your tax refund or by check. This payment is also not a loan, and will not affect your tax filings for next year. You will simply have another credit similar to a dependent or other tax credit on your 2020 tax filings. The only difference is that this credit will have already been paid out.

#2: Freelancers Eligible for Unemployment as Well as Increase of $600

For the first time, freelancers and self-employed individuals are eligible for unemployment benefits. And whatever your state unemployment is, you will receive that PLUS and additional $600 per week. Now obviously this varies state-to-state, so be sure to check with your state's unemployment office for full details.
The $600 weekly unemployment compensation boost included in the CARES Act will provide valuable support to American workers and their families during this challenging time. The Department will continue to provide guidance and support to the States so they can administer the important new benefits under the CARES Act while guarding against fraud and abuse in their Unemployment Insurance systems.” - Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia
DOL unemployment compensation

#3: CARES ACT PPP: Paycheck Protection Program

If you're a small business with under 500 employees, this program is aimed at covering payroll to reduce layoffs and unemployment. Head to your lender (the bank that you have a checking account with) for more details. You will have to have had the checking account since before February of 2020. These are forgivable loans so long as the money is used for the following.
  • Payroll
  • Rent
  • Mortgage Interest
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
SBA will forgive these loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for 8 weeks and the money was used for the above expenses. As part of the CARES ACT, loan payments will also be deferred for 6 months. No collateral is needed in order to apply for this loan. Forgiveness is based on you maintaining or quickly rehiring your employees and maintaining their salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if salaries and wages decrease or your full-time headcount declines.

#4: $10,000 Cash Grant for Freelancers

Loan application page for SBA Most of our community falls into this category of freelancers, sole proprietors, and independent contractors. Please follow this link for the application. This grant is for small businesses as well as self-employed people that can put $10,000 cash into your bank account in as little as three days.

#5: Student Loan Relief

We have a lot of members in our community burdened with student loans. This program will suspend your student loan repayments for six months. Meaning you will not have to pay your student loans for six months. This can be incredibly helpful for many people that are losing out on freelance work so they can pay their bills and feed themselves with the money that they would normally spend on loans. This relief benefit will automatically be applied to your existing federal student loans. You will not have to do anything to receive this benefit. This stimulus program for creatives is a small way that you can save some money to put towards your most pressing needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

UPDATE: Please also check out buddy Nick Fort's video which has additional detailed info to help you out.

Do You Know of Any Other Stimulus Programs for Creatives?

We have been collecting different tips and ideas for creatives in our industry to survive the major blow of COVID-19. This includes monetary benefits such as these stimulus programs as well as other ideas to make or save money during the pandemic. Do you have other ideas or suggestions? We'd love to hear them! Be sure to leave a comment below and let us know.

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