Incentives and Benefits for Animation in the Caribbean

  • BARBADOS

    Barbados

    Barbados offers several types of incentives and benefits to the creative sector, while none are specifically focused on animation, practitioners in this sector can access all items in this pool of support resources. The Arts and Sport Promotion Fund administered by the Ministry of Finance is intended to “to assist in the financing of the practice of the arts and sport in Barbados”. Arts organisations that apply must be registered with the National Cultural Foundation.
    While the NCF confirms that the fund is active, there is no application information online. Communication on the fund should be addressed to the Ministry of Finance; call 246-535-5643 for more information. Link to Act.
    Public Diplomacy Small Grants Programme administered by U.S. Embassy Bridgetown Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Department of State. Proposals are invited for programs that strengthen cultural ties between the U.S. and Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean through cultural and exchange programming that highlights shared values and promotes bilateral cooperation. The programme areas are broad. See here and contact the embassy for more information.
    Investment Incentives through the National Cultural Foundation. The NCF invites vetted investors to invest in a range of programmes that can benefit practicing animation stakeholders, including:
    • Invest in the Cultural Industries Development (CID) Fund.
    • Invest privately in a Cultural Practitioner, Cultural Entrepreneur or Cultural Organization.
    • Invest in an Approved Cultural Project.
    See information on investing here, and contact the NCF for more information.
    Cultural Industries Development (CID) Fund administered by the National Cultural Foundation. The NCF manages the CID on behalf of the Government. It is designed to fund creative projects and programmes, train entrepreneurs in the creative industries, and provides grants for international markets and conferences. See information on the Cultural Industries Development (CID) Fund here, and  contact the NCF for more information.
    Duty-Free Concessions through the National Cultural Foundation. The NCF facilitates access to duty-free concessions for “tools of trade” to be used by a creative entrepreneur, cultural practitioner or government entity. Includes audio-visual and technical equipment. See the list of duty-free items here, and contact the NCF for more information.
    CARICOM Skills Certificate for Technical and Vocational Education and Training. This document enables persons or their companies to work for or hire companies in the Caribbean. Relevant to this project where studios are seeking to expand workforce capacity using the model. More information on the CARICOM Skills Certificate for Barbadian citizens here, and contact the Barbados Accreditation Council here.
    Foreign Tax Credit Act through the Barbados Ministry of International Business and Industry. The Act gives provisions for companies who make 100% of their annual income from international companies – could be applicable to studios that increase their outsourcing contract. More information here. Contact the International Business Unit.

  • JAMAICA

    Jamaica

    In Jamaica, there are a number of initiatives across government agencies that animation practitioners can access; some are specific to the sector, while others are broader, covering both entrepreneurs and creative industry personnel.
      • JAMPRO promotes a number of national incentives accessible by registered companies under the Fiscal Incentives Act, which are accessed by various entities of government:
      • Employment Tax Credit, which reduces corporate income tax liability to as low as 17.5%
      • Capital Allowances for infrastructure
      • Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements which govern the levying of taxes by two or more jurisdictions on the same asset or income
      • Production Input Relief that allows persons registered under the Entertainment Registry to import industry-related items.
    Apart from these national incentives, JAMPRO also oversees and executes other programmes that are beneficial to the animation sector in Jamaica:
    • The Business of Sustainability for Studios (BOSS) Programme (2016-2019) groomed production studios and creative entrepreneurs to sustainably grow their animation businesses. BOSS was a “mini-MBA” for creative executives that covers a broader set of business principles beyond the technical craft of animation. The programme was funded by the World Bank and executed in partnership with the Office of the Prime Minister.
    • The Department maintains a catalogue of Jamaican investment-ready and commercially viable local content, which is made publicly available to potential investors, funders, distributors and producers for potential opportunities; animation projects are included. To apply to be considered for this catalogue, click here.
    Find more information on these incentives and benefits here, and contact the Film, Animation and Music Department at JAMPRO here.
    • The CHASE Fund is a national fund that supports development in four key areas, and allocates 15% of its resources to Arts and Culture. While the fund is primarily focused on the preservation of local history through archives, museums, libraries and documentation facilities, animation stakeholders may benefit accordingly:
      • Establishment, funding and implementation of programmes for the development of talents and skills in the youth of Jamaica in the areas of the Arts and Culture
      • Utilisation of cultural activities in the conveying of development objectives
      • Establishment of opportunities for cultural display and exhibitions to facilitate the show-casing of Jamaican culture
      • Creation of opportunities for more people to attend and participate in artistic activities.
    See here for more information, and contact the CHASE Fund here.
    • The Jamaican Copyright Licensing Agency (JAMCOPY) provides a Cultural Fund from its annual revenue for creators and organisations in the literary, artistic and musical sectors. In terms of relevance to the animation sector, support would fall under Visual Arts, to which 20% of the fund is allocated. The fund supports:
      • Training to improve skills in the creation and management of copyrighted works
      • Supporting activities that strengthen creator organisations and empower creators to earn respect and remuneration for their works, in particular the community that JAMCOPY serves
      • Supporting competitions and awards to motivate and reward excellence in creative works and enhance appreciation for creative works
      • Supporting activities and projects for marketing and distributing Jamaican works locally and abroad
      • Supporting well-established national organisations and institutions that promote and preserve creative works.
    See here for more information on the Cultural Fund, and contact JAMPCOPY here.
    • The Jamaica Special Economic Zone Authority provides tax concessions for entities under the Special Economic Zones Act. The Creative Industries and New Digital Media is a priority area for the zone, identified as a sector that can provide long-term competitive advantage for Jamaica. See here for information on the zone, and contact the Authority here.
    • A COVID-19 stimulus package for the Creative Industry is currently available to individuals and businesses registered through the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport (MCGES). Registration is still available to creatives who are most vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. The Registry is aimed at creating an effective information hub that facilitates the delivery and administration of the processes necessary for the development of an efficient and sustainable entertainment industry. Contact the Ministry directly here.
    • Exim Bank Jamaica provides loans for any business entity in the creative industry. While their primary mandate is to provide financial support to the export sector and its linkages, other members of the productive sector are eligible to apply. They also provide a Trade Credit Insurance (TCI), which protects receivables against non-payment by local and overseas buyers. The policy is tailored to suit specific needs, with insurance premiums at affordable rates. Contact Exim Bank Jamaica here.

  • TRINIDAD & TOBAGO

    Trinidad and Tobago

    Similar to Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago has a range of incentives and benefits across different sectors, which animation practitioners can directly access.
    • FilmTT manages a Production Expenditure Rebate Programme on behalf of the Government that can be applied to animated content that is 30+ minutes in length. The rebate can be accessed by both local and international animation studios; incoming productions must contract with a local production company. For international productions, the rebate is offered in three tiers:
      • 5% cash back on qualifying expenses for budgets US$100,000 – US$499,999, plus 20% cash back for hiring local labour
      • 15% cash back on qualifying expenses for budgets US$500,000 – $999,999, plus 20% cash back for hiring local labour
      • 35% cash back on qualifying expenses for budgets US$1,000,000 – $8,000,000, plus 20% cash back for hiring local labour
    For Trinidad & Tobago producers, the rebate offers:
    • A flat 35% cash back on qualifying expenses for budgets US$15,000 – US$8,000,000, plus 20% for hiring local labour
    See here for more information on the Production Expenditure Rebate Programme, and contact FilmTT here.
    • The Ministry of Finance offers a range of investment incentives, for which animation producers could be eligible:
      • Tax deduction for Sponsorship of Audio, Visual and Video Production – companies that sponsor such works are allowed up to 150% deduction of the expense incurred up to TT$12 million in a calendar year (updated in 2020/2021 budget, page 4).
      • Tax deduction for artistic works – companies that incur expenditure in creating artistic work are allowed a deduction of the expense incurred up to TT$3 million in a calendar year.
      • Tax deduction for production company ­– production companies that incur expenditure in creating its work can access an allowance equal to 150% of the actual expenditure incurred in making such productions up to a maximum of TT$12 million (updated in 2020/2021 budget, page 4). These production companies can also claim an aggregate allowance of up to a maximum of TT$2 million with respect to sums paid to finance sporting activities and artistic works not related to its own business.
      • Customs duty exemptions – companies involved in the film industry are allowed duty-free concessions on machinery, equipment and materials required for the production of content.
    See more information here, and the last page of the document for contact information for the relevant ministries and agencies for the latest information.
    • Tamana InTech Park Animation Studio – a modern 50-60 seat animation studio was recently launched at the Tamana InTech Park campus of the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Apart from providing training space for the UTT’s under graduate degree in Digital Media Studies – Animation, the space is also intended to provide technological and outsourcing support for the industry:
      • A pool of creative staff
      • Project management teams
      • Fully equipped studios
      • Leasing space
      • Leasing equipment
    Contact InvesTT for more information here.
    • The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts maintains an Artist Registry; registered artists receive a certificate that they can use to approach companies to invest in their work through the corporate sponsorship allowance. While not specific to animation, the benefits of the Artist Registry cover a wide range of creative practitioners in Trinidad and Tobago. Contact the Culture Division here.
    • ExporTT offers a Grant Fund Facility to a range of sectors, including the Creative Industries. SMEs that currently earn revenue less than TT$15 million annually and have been in operation for a minimum of two years can access 50% of the cost of new capital requirements or expenditure. Applicants will be required to meet at least 50% of the cost of the acquisition and the Grant is capped at TT$250,000. Contact ExporTT here.
    • InvesTT manages a number of ICT incentives that can be applied to the animation sector:
      • A tax allowance set at 150 percent up to $3 million provided to businesses that invest in tech start-ups and new tech businesses
      • A tax allowance set at 150 percent up to $3 million provided to businesses that engage in technology solutions and digitalization.
      • A tax allowance set at 150 percent up to $3 million provided to businesses that create employment in the technology industry, particularly for young people.
      • All taxes on mobile and digital equipment, mobile phones, software, computer accessories and peripherals removed.
    Contact InvesTT here.

  • REGIONAL

    Regional

    From a regional perspective, there is a short list of incentives or benefits that could be useful to animation sector practitioners; similar to the situations in the individual territories, there needs to be more consistent focus on the infrastructure needs of the sector in order to increase sustainability and competitiveness.
    • CaribExport is offering a Direct Support Grant to companies operating within CARIFORUM countries. Applicants can receive a non-reimbursable grant valued between €5,000 – €15,000 to retool their businesses due to the impact of COVID-19, to take advance of benefits gained from the EPA, business continuity, or to facilitate digital transformation. More information here and contact Carib Export directly here.
    • The Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) is a Private Sector Development Programme that delivers solutions to stimulate economic growth, increase productivity and foster innovation and competitiveness across the Caribbean. Its implementation of projects across the region could prove useful to the future growth of sector in the region, as one of their sub-projects was a few years ago. The “Caribbean Cluster Initiative for Animation Outsourcing and Intellectual Property Development” (listed on UNESCO’s website) was launched in 2016, with the objective of building the capacity of the Caribbean Animation Cluster to deliver world-class animation services, in order to establish the Caribbean as a competitive supplier of animation production and post-production services.

  • INTERNATIONAL

    International

    Compete Caribbean is a development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to firms and entrepreneurs to take a chance on an innovative, risky business idea to improve the revenue performance and competitiveness of the firm. It is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Government of Canada. Although there are no active projects related to animation on their website at this time, the services that they offer could prove beneficial to the growth of the Caribbean’s animation industry development in the future.
    • Since 2008, the ACP-EU (African, Caribbean, Pacific to European Union) Cultural Programme has provided funding and technical assistance to the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions to specifically support culture and creativity in the ACP countries. Implemented by the Secretariat of the ACP Group of States and funded by the European Union, the “ACP-EU towards a viable cultural industry” programme (ACP-EU CULTURE) intends to boost the potential of the cultural and creative sector and its contribution to the social and economic development of the ACP countries. With a budget of 40 million € for the period 2019-2024, the programme aims at:
      • Encouraging entrepreneurship and cultural innovation, as well as the participation of the youth
      • Creating new jobs and increasing artists’ and cultural professionals’ revenues
      • Raising the quality of the ACP cultural productions,
      • Valorising the cultural productions and artists from the ACP countries on international markets.
    Within the Caribbean region, citizens from 16 countries are eligible to apply for the programme. For the 2019-2024 programme, it is being administered through two support mechanisms.
    1. ACP-EU Audiovisual Co-Production Funds – there are three programmes:
      • Fonds Images de la Francophonie (OIF): The Fonds Images of the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF), in partnership with the Film Industry Support Fund (FONSIC) of Côte d’Ivoire have set up the CLAP-ACP scheme with the financial contribution of the ACP-EU Culture programme. CLAP ACP aims to strengthen the film and audiovisual sector in the countries of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States by facilitating co-production. Ultimately, the aim is, among other things, to increase the volume of co-productions and optimise their efficiency and dissemination. More information here.
      • Fonds de la Jeune Creation Francophone(CNC): The Fonds pour la Jeune Création Francophone supports film projects (short and feature-length films), audiovisual series and web content through the allocation of selective aid that can intervene at the development, production and/or post-production stage. Thanks to the involvement of broadcasters in the scheme, the fund also makes it possible to assess the distribution potential of projects as soon as they are selected. Within the framework of the ACP-EU Culture programme, the DEENTAL-ACP action will enable projects receiving production support from the Fund for Young Francophone Creation to obtain additional support (called “Bonus”). More information here.
      • World Cinema Fund: The World Cinema Fund (WCF) has launched the WCF ACP programme, which offers an additional funding opportunity for projects in the WCF and ACP regions. It will supplement the funding of projects whose financing has been recommended by the WCF or WCF Africa jury to potentially double or even triple the production funding granted to these projects. More information here.
    1. Support for the Cultural and Creative Sectors in ACP Countries – In the Caribbean, UNESCO, the University of the West Indies and Caricom have joined forces to organise support for operators in the cultural and creative sectors in the region. This regional support action targets the main constraints to the growth of cultural and creative industries in the Caribbean: obstacles related to obtaining financing, capacity building and market access. Furthermore, although Caribbean artists enjoy broad freedom of expression, there is a need to strengthen policies and measures to promote social and economic rights as set out in the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. More information here.
    See here for calls for proposals for each of these support mechanisms.
    The Economic Partnership Agreement signed in 2008 between the countries of the European Union and CARIFORUM (which pioneered North-South regional trade agreements designed to redress asymmetric exchanges in trade) includes a section entitled ” The Protocol on Cultural Cooperation”. The Protocol sets out a framework dedicated to facilitating cultural and creative exchange between the country groups in the audiovisual sector, that also includes the animation sector. The framework allows for the 9imporived exchange and flow of audiovisual products and services between CARIFORUM countries and EU countries. To date, there is no published evidence of companies successfully activating the terms of the Protocol.

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