May 28, 2020
Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues,
We hope you enjoyed a safe, happy, and profitable weekend. We are back with our COVID-19 industry updates. Starting this week, we’ll be sending two updates per week – on Tuesdays and Thursdays – unless anything urgent arises.
Here’s what you’ll find in today’s COVID-19 update:
- Recap of last week’s updates
- Updated: Provincial Health Officer Public Order for Liquor and Food Primaries
- Reminder: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance applications now open
- Reminder: Minimum wage increase scheduled for June 1 will go ahead
- Upcoming webinars: Small Business BC
- Upcoming webinars: Destination BC
- BC Tourism Week: May 24 to May 31
Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.
Recap of last week’s updates
Here’s what you may have missed from ABLE BC last week:
- Update on May 20: liquor primary reopening, meeting for nightclub owners and operators, new update to Canada Emergency Business account, updates on patios and hospitality discount, non-medical face masks recommended
- Urgent update on May 22: LCRB announces temporary extension of patio and service areas
- Update on May 22: temporary extension of patio and service areas, liquor primary Zoom meeting recording, podcast interview with ABLE BC and BCRFA, minimum wage increase, WorkSafeBC inspections, BDO webinar on May 27
Find all past ABLE BC updates here.
Updated: Provincial Health Officer Public Order for Liquor and Food Primaries
On May 22, 2020, the Provincial Health Officer released an updated public order for liquor and food primaries. This order repeals and replaces the order made on May 15, 2020.
What has been changed:
Manufacturers with tasting lounge endorsement: the updated PHO order clarifies that tasting lounges are subject to 50% capacity limit (not 50 person limit).
Collecting patron contact information: the previous PHO order stated “if practicable, you must retain contact information for one member of every party of patrons for thirty days in the event that there is a need for contact tracing on the part of the medical health officer.”
The updated PHO order clarifies: “if in the ordinary course of business you collect information from patrons for the purpose of making reservations or seating patrons, you must collect the first and last name and telephone number or email address of one member of every party of patrons and retain this information for thirty days, in the event that there is a need for contact tracing on the part of the medical health officer.”
ABLE BC is still working to get clarification on what qualifies as a ‘meal’ and if those liquor primaries not offering meal service are able to open.
Find a copy of the updated PHO order here.
Reminder: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance applications now open
Applications for the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program are now open.
The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance “offers unsecured, forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to: reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants, and meet operating expenses on commercial properties.”
Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020.
Last week, Prime Minister Trudeau confirmed the federal and provincial governments will help cover 50% of the rent. Tenants would pay 25%, and landlords would take a 25% hit.
Tenants can also use programs like the Canada Emergency Business Account to cover rent.
Learn more about the program here.
Reminder: Minimum wage increase scheduled for June 1 will go ahead
Despite industry collective efforts to delay the scheduled minimum wage increase and offer businesses much-needed relief, Labour Minister Harry Bains has confirmed the province will move ahead with the planned minimum wage increase on June 1 $14.60 an hour, from $13.85 an hour.
Earlier this month, ABLE BC contacted Ministry Bains expressing our concerns. You can read his response here.
We are deeply frustrated and disappointed with the Minister’s decision to ignore our industry’s urgent financial realities at this time. We encourage members to write directly to Minister Bains to express disappointment at: LBR.Minister@gov.bc.ca.
Read more about BC minimum wage increase here.
Upcoming webinars: Small Business BC
Small Business BC are hosting a series of specialized free webinars to tackle the challenges faced by COVID-19. These webinars are geared at equipping businesses in our province with the skills and knowledge they need to survive the new realities of our COVID economy.
Upcoming webinars include:
- May 27: strategies for staying resilient during COVID-19
- June 1: designing a new content marketing plan for 2020
- June 5: how to become an inclusive employer after COVID-19
Find all past and upcoming webinars here.
BC Business COVID-19 Support Service
Small Business BC has recently launched the BC Business COVID-19 Support Service to host all COVID-19 content and resources in one area. You’ll be able to talk to an advisor via live chat, or speak to them over the phone.
Find out more and use the service here.
Upcoming webinars: Destination BC
Destination BC knows that the impacts of COVID-19 are being felt across British Columbia, and will continue to be felt by the tourism industry long into the future.
As tourism businesses plan their own unique path forward, they will need support on the road to recovery, to adapt and overcome a pandemic that has touched so many people around the world.
To support this, Destination BC is launching a series of free webinars to support BC’s tourism industry on the road to recovery from COVID-19.
Upcoming ‘Road to Recovery’ webinars include:
- May 28: Building a digital marketing strategy for re-opening
- June 4: Explore BC virtually
Find all past and upcoming webinars here.
BC Tourism Week: May 24 to May 31
Tourism Week is a national, grassroots initiative that brings attention to the importance of travel and tourism to Canada, and British Columbia.
British Columbia’s annual Tourism Week takes place this week: May 24 to May 31. This year, Tourism Week looks very different from other years where we celebrated the success of our industry, in addition to its economic importance.
Instead, Tourism Week 2020 focuses on four themes:
- How Tourism is Helping Communities
- Virtual Travel Experiences
- Training Opportunities for BC’s Tourism Industry
- Educating the public about the value of BC’s tourism industry to all British Columbians, encouraging them to travel within their own province this year
BC Tourism Week is part of an ongoing effort to showcase local tourism products and experiences, support tourism businesses with their restart and recovery efforts, and demonstrate that BC Tourism Matters in communities across the province.
Learn more about BC Tourism Week and how you can get involved here.
For more information:
Public Health Agency of Canada Website
Updates from the Government of British Columbia
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- News Releases from BC Government on COVID-19
- Provincial Health Officer Public Health Orders
Updates and Resources from WorkSafeBC
- Restaurants, cafes, and pubs: reopening protocols
- COVID-19 and returning to safe operation
- COVID-19 safety plan
Updates and Resources from ABLE BC
- COVID-19 updates
- COVID-19 template signs
- Liquor and Hospitality Industry Information: EnrichEntrepreneur.com
Human Resources & Occupational Health & Safety Info from go2HR
If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC:
604-688-5560 or firstname.lastname@example.org.