April 22, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

We look forward to seeing some of you at our Virtual Happy Hours this week. Tonight is full, but there’s a few spots left for tomorrow if you’d like to join us:

ABLE BC’s Virtual Happy Hour is a chance for you to ask questions and share your concerns and thoughts about the current state of the industry – in an informal setting. Everyone welcome.

We’re hosting the happy hours on Zoom. If you don’t have Zoom on your computer or mobile device, you can download it for free here (select Zoom Client for Meetings). 

Once you RSVP for a Happy Hour (click the sign-up link above), we’ll provide you with a Zoom meeting link. Click on the link to access the Virtual Happy Hour Zoom meeting room. If you have any other questions or concerns about using Zoom – we promise, it’s easy to use! – please contact: Danielle at danielle@ablebc.ca

Our next COVID-19 update will be sent out on Friday. As always, you can also reach us by email if you have any questions or concerns: jeff@ablebc.ca or danielle@ablebc.ca.

Included in today’s email you will find: 

  • 5 minute ABLE BC survey: impact of COVID-19 on your liquor business
  • Applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy open next week
  • LCRB update: BDL invoicing and compliance
  • BC Hospitality Foundation: Join the Hospitality Hustle 
  • New COVID-19 signage: encourage customers to shop in pairs or alone
  • Free BDO Webinar on April 24: The Retail World Post-Crisis 
  • ContainerWorld Operational Update
  • Update from McMillan LLP: Combatting civil fraud against businesses in the age of COVID-19

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

5 minute ABLE BC survey: impact of COVID-19 on your liquor business

In response to the global COVID-19 crisis, the BC government and federal government have implemented new policy changes and announced economic programs to support businesses. ABLE BC wants to know how these policies and programs are impacting your liquor business.

We have received over 100 responses! Thank you to everyone who has already completed the survey. If you haven’t yet done so, please take 5 minutes to complete our COVID-19 survey

Your feedback plays an essential role in informing our government relations and advocacy efforts.

If you have any questions or concerns about this survey, please contact ABLE BC: info@ablebc.ca.

Applications for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Open on Monday

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Trudeau said the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy applications will open next week.

The federal government is launching a calculator on the Canada Revenue Agency website to help businesses calculate what they are covered for through the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

Applicants will be able to access the subsidy starting on Monday, April 27.

CEWS Key Points

  • As a Canadian employer whose business has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for a subsidy of 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, to June 6, 2020.
  • The subsidy is intended to help you re-hire workers previously laid off as a result of COVID-19, help prevent further job losses, and better position you to resume normal operations following the crisis.
  • The subsidy amount is based on the number and type of eligible employees you have, and the amount and type of pay they received before and during the crisis.
  • The maximum benefit is $847 per employee each week.
  • There is no limit on the total subsidy amount that an eligible employer may claim, according to the government.

Visit the Government of Canada website for more information and:

  • Determine your eligibility for the CEWS
  • Determine which employees are eligible for the CEWS
  • Calculate your subsidy amount 
  • Learn how to apply

For an overview of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan click here.

LCRB Update: BDL invoicing and compliance

As you know, on March 25, BDL was subjected to a cyber-attack and is still experiencing service disruptions – including not billing customers until their system is back online. 

The LCRB is aware of concerns from licenses regarding potential non-compliance with the LCRB’s requirements for proof of liquor purchase (i.e. maintaining a liquor register) due to service disruptions caused by a recent cyber-attack that disabled BDL’s systems. 

The LDB is also currently working with the BDL on this issue as they endeavour to bring their systems back on line. 

The LCRB will share more information with licensees as soon as it available. If you have any other questions, you can contact the LCRB at: liquorpolicy@gov.bc.ca

BC Hospitality Foundation: Join the Hospitality Hustle

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the hospitality industry, the BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF) wants to help keep spirits up with a province-wide virtual event called the Hospitality Hustle on Sunday, May 31, 2020.

All are welcome to join in the BCHF’s FREE event, which involves engaging in physical activity of your choice and sharing your experience on social media. The event will conclude on the evening of May 31 with a virtual dance party hosted by a live DJ.

Keeping social distancing front of mind. The BCHF encourages participants to pick an activity – walk or run 5km, dance for an hour, skip, prance, skateboard, or bike 10km – and start training today. Please follow the advice of our medical professionals and keep your training in your neighbourhood. 

On Sunday, May 31st our entire community will virtually get their ‘hustle on’ for hospitality! Complete your physical activity any time on May 31, so long as you finish by 7:00 pm.

Learn more and register for this free event. Guests who register on Eventbrite for this virtual event, post on Social Media AND tag #HospitalityHustle are automatically entered to win a prize (one of 3 x $100 gift certificates to a venue or activity of your choice!)

New COVID-19 signage: encourage customers to shop in pairs or alone

New COVID-19 signage is available for free download. The sign encourages customers to shop in groups of two or fewer whenever possible; small groups help everyone keep recommended social distancing while shopping.

Find all free COVID-19 signage in our online store

If you have any additional signage requests, please send them to Danielle: danielle@ablebc.ca

Free BDO Webinar on April 24: The Retail World Post-Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis has created a new reality for retailers. On April 24 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm ET, join BDO for their webinarSurvivor, seller, or buyer? The retail world post-crisis to learn about: 

  • Where investments in your company now could affect your valuation later
  • Opportunities that will become available post-crisis
  • The necessary steps to survive through the pandemic and beyond 

To reserve your spot now, click here.

If you have any questions about the webinar, please contact Karlee May: kmay@bdo.ca

ContainerWorld Operational Update

ContainerWorld has shared with us the following update: 

  • Inbound volumes, both domestic and import are posting noted increases over previous weeks. We continue to remain current with processing these volumes. 
  • We continue to experience peak outbound volumes for this time of year. Our Direct Store Distribution channel is posting higher outbound this week than previous weeks, and we continue to maintain on time delivery. Our outbound to the BCLDB remains high, however, we are currently maintaining a minimum delivery backlog to their Distribution Centers. 
  • South Africa had previously announced that they would ease wine export restrictions, previously imposed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Since then, their government has amended this to address only those shipments that were already at the port awaiting outbound movement. At this time, for those shipments that did not make it to a port by April 16th, will not be permitted to ship. The current ETA for lifting these restrictions is May 1st, though this date is fluid at this time. 
  • Despite MSC’s system challenges the previous week, we did not experience any significant issues. We are pleased to advise that they have resolved their system disruption. 
  • Our Richmond warehouse operation continues to maintain functionality with regard to manpower, and the ranks remain healthy, though somewhat limited, given the current circumstances. Our office team continues to alternate shifts from home and in the office to maintain the social distancing protocols as recommended by our government.
  • Our Interior operations (Kamloops and Kelowna) continue to remain intact. Our teams continue to work closely with BDL as they work towards normalizing their operations. 

Update from McMillan LLP: Combatting civil fraud against businesses in the age of COVID-19

Shea Coulson (McMillan LLP) has shared with us a new article on combatting civil fraud against businesses in the age of COVID-19. 

Shea writes: Fraud is a fact of business life. Most businesses are only partially prepared to address fraud. Even fewer are ready for what is necessary to seize and recover assets from perpetrators of fraud. These gaps often cause serious business losses. The trend over the past decade toward increasing fraud and money laundering has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus all businesses must now put on managing the crisis will lead to significant vulnerabilities and increased losses due to fraudulent activity.

Read the full article here

Thank you to Shea for the ongoing resources and support he has provided to our industry.

For more information:

Public Health Agency of Canada Website

Updates from the Government of British Columbia

Updates and Resources from ABLE BC

Human Resources & Occupational Health & Safety Info from go2HR

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC:
604-688-5560 or info@ablebc.ca.

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