The Association of Independent Music (AIM) has launched a coronavirus hardship fund for music industry contractors.
So far the non-profit trade group and its members have committed £500,000, but are hoping to reach £1 million via further donations.
The fund is open to contractors who were due to work with artists signed to AIM member labels, who lost income because of cancelled artist projects.
Tour crews, studio producers, mixing engineers, radio pluggers, graphic designers, stylists and publicists are eligible for grants.
The target is to distribute payments of £1,000 to 1,000 workers within two months.
The launch was prompted by AIM’s survey in collaboration with the Creative Industries Federation, which suggests 96% of music businesses have lost income as a result of the pandemic, and 40% have lost all of their income.
AIM’s chief executive Paul Pacifico said: “Despite government initiatives and the groundswell of support from the music industry, there are still many thousands of workers being left behind without the help that they need to get through this difficult time.
“Many of these people have suddenly found themselves with no source of income and with families to support, while government support measures for microbusinesses are hard to access for creative businesses and those for the self-employed are not expected to kick in before June.”
“The independent sector’s strength lies in its sense of solidarity and community.
“We have already seen a hugely encouraging show of support for those who are struggling, but there is still more to do.
“This is a call to arms. Together, we can get through this.”
Chairman Peter Quicke, who is also managing director of the Ninja Tune record label, said: “In this moment of global crisis, it is so important for AIM to enable our community in getting help to those in most critical need.
“Music has the power to help many of us to get through social isolation and other aspects of this crisis, and we must do our bit to support those people, particularly from behind the scenes, who help bring so much joy to so many, but who are at risk of being left behind in the current aid packages on offer.”
Bodies such as PRS For Music, the Musicians’ Union and Help Musicians have already launched hardship funds allocating one-off payments to musicians.
AIM recipients must not be currently benefiting from any other music industry coronavirus support scheme.