June 2, 2020
Analysis: Creative economy is not on equal pandemic recovery footing
RIVERSIDE – (INT) - A new analysis, released Wednesday by the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development, finds that the creative economy has experienced job and revenue losses as a result of shelter-in-place mandates, but the level of public sector relief directed at these businesses falls far short of other sectors.

Arts, entertainment, and cultural activity – which includes performing arts, spectator sports, art galleries, museums, historical sites, and other creative businesses – make up 4.5% of U.S. GDP and 8.2% of California GDP. Yet, in California, a mere 1% of the loans approved under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program have gone to businesses and organizations in the state’s Arts and Entertainment subsector.

During April there was a 54% year-over-year loss of jobs in the nation’s Arts and Entertainment subsector. California’s data was not immediately available but the authors note that it will very likely reflect the nation’s experience.

“The minimal level of financial support stands in direct contrast to the value-added contributions these businesses and organizations make to the broader national and state economy,” said Adam Fowler, Director of Research at the Center for Forecasting and one of the report’s authors. “We need to shift away from the attitude that the creative sectors are discretionary and not necessary – they play a critical but underappreciated role in our overall economic health and prosperity and will be essential in driving economic recovery at the local, regional, and national level.”

According to the analysis, the prospects for rapid recovery within the creative economy are low given that most of its organizations and workers were among the first impacted and will be among the last to resume normal operations under most state reopening plans.
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