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Freelancing

COVID-19 survival kit for creative freelancers

Valentine del Giudice
March 20, 2020
March 20, 2020

This global crisis is affecting the entire economy and the coming months will be particularly difficult for freelancers. While some employees are entitled to guaranteed sick pay as they self-isolate, freelancers and self-employed individuals do not have this security and are at a high risk of losing all their income. Here are a few things you can do now to set yourself up for the coming weeks of isolation.

COVID-19 UK FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Are you getting all the help available to you?

As creative practitioners, we are aware it can be difficult to navigate between financial
options available depending on your status. Make sure you are getting all the financial help
available to you by using the table below.
We will keep on updating it with new resources to always provide the most up-to-date financial support info for you!

* If you have another employment paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.

COVID-19 UK FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Are you getting all the help available to you?

As creative practitioners, we are aware it can be difficult to navigate between financial
options available depending on your status. Make sure you are getting all the financial help
available to you by using the table below.
We will keep on updating it with new resources to always provide the most up-to-date financial support info for you!

* If you have another employment paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.

Artwork by Sara Shakeel @sarashakeel

The Creators

The Creative

No items found.

Universal Credit (1)

You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
• you’re on a low income or out of work
• you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
• you’re under State Pension age
• you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
• you live in the UK

MORE INFO

COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme (3)

If you have employees, you can claim for 80% of their wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus. If you have an other employment paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.

MORE INFO



Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (3)

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either: have coronavirus, cannot work because they are self-isolating at home or are shielding in line with public health guidance.

MORE INFO

HMRC’s Time To Pay (5)

You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:
• have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019
• traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
• are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
• intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
• have lost trading pro ts due to coronavirus
• your trading profits must also be no more than £50,000 and more than half of your total income

MORE INFO

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) & Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) (7)

Small Business Grant Fund Eligibility:
• Businesses with a property that on the 11 March 2020 were eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) Scheme.
• Businesses which on 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the Rural Rate Relief
• Scheme are also eligible for this scheme.
Eligible recipients will receive one grant per property.

Hospitality and Leisure Grand Fund Eligibility:
• Properties which on the 11 March 2020 had a rateable value of less than £51,000 and would have been eligible for a discount under the business rates
• Expanded Retail Discount Scheme had that scheme been in force are eligible for the grant.
• Charities which would otherwise meet this criteria but whose bill for 11 March had been reduced to nil by a local discretionary award should still be considered to be eligible for the RHL grant.
• Recipients will receive one grant per eligible property

No need to do anything you’ll be contacted by HRMC if you’re eligible

MORE INFO

Council Tax Reduction (2)

You could be eligible if you’re on a low income or claim benefits. Your bill could be reduced by up to 100%. You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.

MORE INFO

HRMC income support scheme (4)

You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:
• have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019
• traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
• are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
• intend to continue to trade in the tax year2020 to 2021
• have lost trading profits due to coronavirus

You will need to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. HMRC will as usual use a risk based approach to compliance.

Your trading profits must also be no more than £50,000 and more than half of your total income for either:
• the tax year 2018 to 2019
• the average of the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019

MORE INFO

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (6)

You’re eligible if:
• your business is based in the UK
• your business has an annual turnover of up to £45 million
• your business has a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, if not for the coronavirus pandemic
• you can self-certify that your business has been adversely impacted by coronavirus

MORE INFO

Creative industry-specific Grants & Funds (8)

We've compiled a list of grants and prizes available to UK residents, which you can filter by creative industry, to make sure you're seeing grants that are relevant to your practice. We'll be doing our best to keep this list up-to-date with the latest grants and initiatives to support creatives around the UK. All grants listed are open for applications and are automatically removed after the deadline. 

If you are feeling anxious, wondering what the coronavirus crisis means for your practice, feel free to reach out to us at any time.

We’re not experts, but we’re happy to share our knowledge and to try to help you stay optimistic during these tough times. You can contact us from our website chat or on any social media.

MORE INFO

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) (9)

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
You can apply for a loan if your business:
• is based in the UK was established before 1 March 2020
• has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus

MORE INFO

Universal Credit (1)

You may be able to get Universal Credit if:
• you’re on a low income or out of work
• you’re 18 or over (there are some exceptions if you’re 16 to 17)
• you’re under State Pension age
• you and your partner have £16,000 or less in savings between you
• you live in the UK

MORE INFO

Council Tax Reduction (2)

You could be eligible if you’re on a low income or claim benefits. Your bill could be reduced by up to 100%. You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.

MORE INFO

COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme (3)

If you have employees, you can claim for 80% of their wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus. If you have an other employment paid through PAYE your employer may be able to get support using the Job Retention Scheme.

MORE INFO



Claim back Statutory Sick Pay paid to employees due to coronavirus (3)

The repayment will cover up to 2 weeks starting from the first day of sickness, if an employee is unable to work because they either: have coronavirus, cannot work because they are self-isolating at home or are shielding in line with public health guidance.

MORE INFO

HRMC income support scheme (4)

You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:
• have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019
• traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
• are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
• intend to continue to trade in the tax year2020 to 2021
• have lost trading profits due to coronavirus

You will need to confirm to HMRC that your business has been adversely affected by coronavirus. HMRC will as usual use a risk based approach to compliance.

Your trading profits must also be no more than £50,000 and more than half of your total income for either:
• the tax year 2018 to 2019
• the average of the tax years 2016 to 2017, 2017 to 2018, and 2018 to 2019

MORE INFO

HMRC’s Time To Pay (5)

You can claim if you’re a self-employed individual or a member of a partnership and you:
• have submitted your Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018 to 2019
• traded in the tax year 2019 to 2020
• are trading when you apply, or would be except for coronavirus
• intend to continue to trade in the tax year 2020 to 2021
• have lost trading pro ts due to coronavirus
• your trading profits must also be no more than £50,000 and more than half of your total income

MORE INFO

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (6)

You’re eligible if:
• your business is based in the UK
• your business has an annual turnover of up to £45 million
• your business has a borrowing proposal which the lender would consider viable, if not for the coronavirus pandemic
• you can self-certify that your business has been adversely impacted by coronavirus

MORE INFO

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) & Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF) (7)

Small Business Grant Fund Eligibility:
• Businesses with a property that on the 11 March 2020 were eligible for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) Scheme.
• Businesses which on 11 March 2020 were eligible for relief under the Rural Rate Relief
• Scheme are also eligible for this scheme.
Eligible recipients will receive one grant per property.

Hospitality and Leisure Grand Fund Eligibility:
• Properties which on the 11 March 2020 had a rateable value of less than £51,000 and would have been eligible for a discount under the business rates
• Expanded Retail Discount Scheme had that scheme been in force are eligible for the grant.
• Charities which would otherwise meet this criteria but whose bill for 11 March had been reduced to nil by a local discretionary award should still be considered to be eligible for the RHL grant.
• Recipients will receive one grant per eligible property

No need to do anything you’ll be contacted by HRMC if you’re eligible

MORE INFO

Creative industry-specific Grants & Funds (8)

We've compiled a list of grants and prizes available to UK residents, which you can filter by creative industry, to make sure you're seeing grants that are relevant to your practice. We'll be doing our best to keep this list up-to-date with the latest grants and initiatives to support creatives around the UK. All grants listed are open for applications and are automatically removed after the deadline. 

If you are feeling anxious, wondering what the coronavirus crisis means for your practice, feel free to reach out to us at any time.

We’re not experts, but we’re happy to share our knowledge and to try to help you stay optimistic during these tough times. You can contact us from our website chat or on any social media.

MORE INFO

Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) (9)

The scheme helps small and medium-sized businesses to borrow between £2,000 and up to 25% of their turnover. The maximum loan available is £50,000. The government guarantees 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months. After 12 months the interest rate will be 2.5% a year.
You can apply for a loan if your business:
• is based in the UK was established before 1 March 2020
• has been adversely impacted by the coronavirus

MORE INFO
Updated on 30/04/20

This global crisis is affecting the entire economy and the coming months will be particularly difficult for freelancers. While some employees are entitled to guaranteed sick pay as they self-isolate, freelancers and self-employed individuals do not have this security and are at a high risk of losing all their income. Here are a few things you can do now to set yourself up for the coming weeks of isolation.



How to work 100% digitally 

Digital meetings

Organise your meetings digitally with Zoom (requires all participants to download the app) or Whereby (anyone can join with a link); and learn how to make the most of it with this article that gives you tips on how to be good at virtual meetings!


Working with a team

As part of their Global Design Survey, the Dribbble team asked over 17k designers what their pain points were when working remotely. Based on their responses, they've shared some how-to's to overcome challenges of working remotely with a team such as communication issues, lack of team bonding or how to get more feedback  — check out their article

More online tools 

NoHQ Toolkit gives you the best tools to organise your weeks ahead, work collaboratively from afar, and schedule video conferences.

Take care of your cash-flow 

Get paid for creating  online content

From writing articles to gaming streaming, you might want to start looking at new ways to generate income. Buy Me a Coffee allows you to monetise almost any content you put online, or if you feel like teaching, you can get paid monthly for every member that watches your class on SkillShare.

Howlround is regularly buying written and video theatre-related content — check out their streaming guide if you need help getting started with streaming.

For the next 8 weeks, Umbrella studio will grant a budget of £500 to a new freelancer each week, in order to purchase relevant content such as educational videos, legal advice or light humour pieces — email them your ideas

Save money from your Adobe subscription

Get your Creative Cloud free for 2 months by simply logging into your account on the Adobe Creative Cloud website; click on cancel your plan and on the last page of the cancellation process, "offers," will be an offer for free 60 day credit. Accept it and you're done!

This does not actually cancel your plan, but credits your account for two months and resumes normal billing after 60 days.

Be informed about the financial arrangements in the UK

You can use our COVID-19 financial support guide for creative practitioners to make sure you are getting all the help available for you.

Stay productive 

Refresh/update your portfolio

Updating your portfolio is one of the most important things to stay on top of as a freelancer. It is not always easy to find the time during your usual day-to-day schedule, but you can take this quiet time to gather your existing work and update your portfolio in preparation for brighter days.

Don't know where to start? Check out Awwwards for inspiration and D&AD for advice.


Start a free online course

There's an infinite number of free online resources available to learn new skills whilst staying at home. From “putting design thinking to work” made by Stanford to "Art Through Time: A Global View" by Annenberg Learner, you can learn about any subject you can think of or take this time to get better at your practice. Check out Open Culture for a list of thousands of online classes, or learn directly with the Harvard open learning initiative, Yale open courses, Coursera, Khan Academy

You can also learn how to code for free with great platforms such as code academy or Free Code Camp.

Learn and get inspired with podcasts

From designer life to space stories to the Beatles, you have plenty of options for engaging audio content you can listen to throughout your day. Browse through Apple podcasts, Google podcasts or TuneIn for a wide range of free audio content. 


Collaboration time

Alike updating your portfolio, it isn’t always easy to find the time to collaborate on new projects. At SSSHAKE, our main mission has always been to bring people together, and we want to encourage this unity now, more than ever, through this unsettling time. 

We are already working on a remote collaboration board to help creators stay connected and motivated. Get in touch, if you would like to know more or help us spread the word!


Take this time to focus on yourself 

Press pause. Take this time to focus on yourself and set your intentions for the coming months or years. Struggling with clarity and focus? Check out this article from the Creative Independent on how to stay calm and centred.

Being alone isn't always easy, so please don't hesitate to seek external support if you feel very low or anxious during this time of isolation. Mind.org has a dedicated page about mental wellbeing during the coronavirus crisis, but you can also (re-)read the 5 ways to wellbeing, as they are particularly relevant during these uncertain times.

Stay connected

Help available across the creative industries

Voluntary Arts are hosting a daily online gathering called #CreativeNetwork for anyone involved in arts, culture and creativity, who would like to discuss dealing with current events with others.

You can find more resources by industry below — we'll keep updating these frequently to keep giving you the latest

Film & TV

Theatre & Performing arts

Music

Artists

Take actions


Stay informed about the pandemic

If you are feeling anxious, wondering what the coronavirus crisis means for your freelance practice, and you would like some support in developing a plan for these next few months, feel free to reach out to us at any time.

We're not experts, but we're happy to share our knowledge and to try to help you stay optimistic during these tough times. You can contact us from the website chat, or contact me via email at valentine@ssshake.com


Updated on 30/04/20

This global crisis is affecting the entire economy and the coming months will be particularly difficult for freelancers. While some employees are entitled to guaranteed sick pay as they self-isolate, freelancers and self-employed individuals do not have this security and are at a high risk of losing all their income. Here are a few things you can do now to set yourself up for the coming weeks of isolation.



How to work 100% digitally 

Digital meetings

Organise your meetings digitally with Zoom (requires all participants to download the app) or Whereby (anyone can join with a link); and learn how to make the most of it with this article that gives you tips on how to be good at virtual meetings!


Working with a team

As part of their Global Design Survey, the Dribbble team asked over 17k designers what their pain points were when working remotely. Based on their responses, they've shared some how-to's to overcome challenges of working remotely with a team such as communication issues, lack of team bonding or how to get more feedback  — check out their article

More online tools 

NoHQ Toolkit gives you the best tools to organise your weeks ahead, work collaboratively from afar, and schedule video conferences.

Take care of your cash-flow 

Get paid for creating  online content

From writing articles to gaming streaming, you might want to start looking at new ways to generate income. Buy Me a Coffee allows you to monetise almost any content you put online, or if you feel like teaching, you can get paid monthly for every member that watches your class on SkillShare.

Howlround is regularly buying written and video theatre-related content — check out their streaming guide if you need help getting started with streaming.

For the next 8 weeks, Umbrella studio will grant a budget of £500 to a new freelancer each week, in order to purchase relevant content such as educational videos, legal advice or light humour pieces — email them your ideas

Save money from your Adobe subscription

Get your Creative Cloud free for 2 months by simply logging into your account on the Adobe Creative Cloud website; click on cancel your plan and on the last page of the cancellation process, "offers," will be an offer for free 60 day credit. Accept it and you're done!

This does not actually cancel your plan, but credits your account for two months and resumes normal billing after 60 days.

Be informed about the financial arrangements in the UK

You can use our COVID-19 financial support guide for creative practitioners to make sure you are getting all the help available for you.

Stay productive 

Refresh/update your portfolio

Updating your portfolio is one of the most important things to stay on top of as a freelancer. It is not always easy to find the time during your usual day-to-day schedule, but you can take this quiet time to gather your existing work and update your portfolio in preparation for brighter days.

Don't know where to start? Check out Awwwards for inspiration and D&AD for advice.


Start a free online course

There's an infinite number of free online resources available to learn new skills whilst staying at home. From “putting design thinking to work” made by Stanford to "Art Through Time: A Global View" by Annenberg Learner, you can learn about any subject you can think of or take this time to get better at your practice. Check out Open Culture for a list of thousands of online classes, or learn directly with the Harvard open learning initiative, Yale open courses, Coursera, Khan Academy

You can also learn how to code for free with great platforms such as code academy or Free Code Camp.

Learn and get inspired with podcasts

From designer life to space stories to the Beatles, you have plenty of options for engaging audio content you can listen to throughout your day. Browse through Apple podcasts, Google podcasts or TuneIn for a wide range of free audio content. 


Collaboration time

Alike updating your portfolio, it isn’t always easy to find the time to collaborate on new projects. At SSSHAKE, our main mission has always been to bring people together, and we want to encourage this unity now, more than ever, through this unsettling time. 

We are already working on a remote collaboration board to help creators stay connected and motivated. Get in touch, if you would like to know more or help us spread the word!


Take this time to focus on yourself 

Press pause. Take this time to focus on yourself and set your intentions for the coming months or years. Struggling with clarity and focus? Check out this article from the Creative Independent on how to stay calm and centred.

Being alone isn't always easy, so please don't hesitate to seek external support if you feel very low or anxious during this time of isolation. Mind.org has a dedicated page about mental wellbeing during the coronavirus crisis, but you can also (re-)read the 5 ways to wellbeing, as they are particularly relevant during these uncertain times.

Stay connected

Help available across the creative industries

Voluntary Arts are hosting a daily online gathering called #CreativeNetwork for anyone involved in arts, culture and creativity, who would like to discuss dealing with current events with others.

You can find more resources by industry below — we'll keep updating these frequently to keep giving you the latest

Film & TV

Theatre & Performing arts

Music

Artists

Take actions


Stay informed about the pandemic

If you are feeling anxious, wondering what the coronavirus crisis means for your freelance practice, and you would like some support in developing a plan for these next few months, feel free to reach out to us at any time.

We're not experts, but we're happy to share our knowledge and to try to help you stay optimistic during these tough times. You can contact us from the website chat, or contact me via email at valentine@ssshake.com


BOOKS

MOVIES

And finally, if you can, donate, sign and share - it can go a long way. Here are links to relevant charities and petitions (donating if you can, or signing and sharing petitions is great immediate help).

BLACK LIVES MATTER, TODAY AND ALWAYS.

All
By
September 14, 2020
Rolling until further notice
Music

Help Musicians: Fusion Fund

How much can you get? £2,000-£5,000

For professional musicians to undertake UK-based projects that develop and test new work, ideas or potential career directions through inspiring periods of collaborative research and development. We want to highlight that in this round we welcome applications that will explore the above through the use of remote, digital or online collaboration tools or performance spaces. For example, the use of Skype rehearsals or live streamed performance.

Eligibility

• UK-resident

• In financial need

• Have an active career as a musician

• Also open to bands up to 6 people

LEARN MORE
By
July 14, 2020
Rolling until further notice
Photography
Illustration
Fine Art
Film
Music

The Culture of Solidarity Fund

How much can you get? €5,000-€50,000

The fund supports imaginative cultural initiatives, that in the midst of the global pandemic crisis reinforce European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space.

Applications open Monday, 22nd June, 2020

Eligibility

• Individuals or organisation in the creative sector

• Can be based anywhere in world

LEARN MORE
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