April 30, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

Here’s what you’ll find in today’s COVID-19 update:

  • New 1-minute ABLE BC survey: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program
  • Western Financial Group: Employee Benefits Announcement
  • Property taxes in Vancouver delayed until September
  • New COVID-19 resource hub: EnrichEntrepreneur.com
  • ABLE BC Member Discount: outdoor signage
  • Pro bono coaching offer for ABLE BC members
  • Hand sanitizer retooling update: federal licensing process required

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

You may notice we’ve reintroduced digital ads to our update today. Prior to sending COVID-19 updates, we sent out a biweekly Industry Update newsletter. Ads from select industry partners and associate members were included in the Industry Update.

While we do plan to return to our biweekly Industry Updates, in the interim we will be including digital ads one-time per week in our COVID-19 updates. These ads are essential for supporting both our partners and the association. We appreciate your understanding and encourage you to check-out the product and services these businesses offer.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us: jeff@ablebc.ca or danielle@ablebc.ca

New 1-minute ABLE BC survey: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete our first COVID-19 liquor industry survey. Your feedback is incredibly helpful. We received 150 responses and will share insights from the survey soon.

As you know, 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.

This includes the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program: a program announced by the federal government that will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. It is expected to be operational by mid-May. 

ABLE BC would like your feedback on the effectiveness of the CECRA program. Please complete our 1-minute survey on the program.
If you have any questions or concerns about this survey, please contact ABLE BC: info@ablebc.ca.

Western Financial Group: Employee Benefits Announcement

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to impact Canada, Western Financial Group is especially mindful of the difficult decisions and financial impacts Canadian businesses are facing when it comes to maintaining group benefits coverage for employees. 

We are pleased to share some key updates from WFG that will help ease the strain for TotalGuard members: 

  • Health and dental premium reductions effective April 1: 50% reduction in dental premium and 10% reduction in health premium, including vision and drugs
  • Postponement of June 1 renewal until further notice
  • Online COVID-19 resource centre

Download this update from Western Financial Group for full details.

Property taxes in Vancouver delayed until September

Last night, Vancouver City Council approved pushing back the deadline for residential and commercial property taxes in Vancouver to September 30, 2020. This is an extension of nearly two months; taxes were originally due on July 3, 2020.

Municipalities start to defer property tax payments

One of the most significant issues we hear you are facing is the inability to pay rent and property taxes. 

ABLE BC, along with other industry associations, are working daily with our provincial and federal government partners to address these concerns and help government make changes to support your businesses.

Some municipalities have already taken action on deferring property tax payments, including Port Coquitlam and now Vancouver.

In March, ABLE BC and other industry associations wrote to all municipalities, asking them to defer property tax increases and payments. We will keep you updated on this issue.

New COVID-19 Resource Hub: EnrichEntrepreneur.com

Aurillia Consulting has created a new COVID-19 information and resource hub for businesses and individuals: EnrichEntrepreneur.com.

We encourage you to visit the website and find a comprehensive and curated list of COVID-19 links, tools, financial support, videos and webinars, and more all in one place. 

The Liquor and Hospitality Industry section includes information and resources provided by ABLE BC on the following topics:

  • Checklists
  • Special offers
  • Free training
  • Health and safety
  • Public Health notices
  • Signage
  • Policy
  • HR and Employment
  • Legal 

Information and resources will be updated regularly.

ABLE BC Member Discount: Outdoor Signage

Raise awareness for your business and let customers know you’re still open: First Impression Visuals is offering all ABLE BC members a discount on signage.

FiV offers outdoor poster signs, communication banner stands, and outdoor feature flags – designed to attract customers passing by on car or foot and increase your visibility.

FiV also offers signage for inside your establishment. For instance, use graphic control barriers to send the right message and create a safe environment and control barrier between people with informative partition signs.

Learn more about what FiV offers here.

For product information, prices and quotes, and to place an order please contact Paul Trudeau: 604-644-6750 or paul@fivisuals.com.

Pro Bono Coaching offer for ABLE BC Members

Eve Gaudet, Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant (Eve of Change) is generously offering pro bono coaching: 

Need help in this uncertain time?  I get it – your industry has been hit harder than most. As a professional coach who’s worked with many in your industry, I’d like to offer 3 1-hour pro bono sessions to the first 3 members who contact me. Whether you’re overwhelmed or need clarity and a path forward, I’m here to help. 

Eve, a past presenter at the BC Hospitality Summit, works with business owners, managers, or supervisors. Her coaching primarily focuses on strategy, leadership, and communication.

Learn more about Eve and her coaching here. Contact Eve to take advantage of this offer: evegaudet@eveofchange.ca or 778-679-3152

Hand sanitizer retooling update: federal licensing process required

Shea Coulson (McMillan LLP) has shared with us the following important update for manufacturers producing hand sanitizer:

Hand sanitizer in Canada is classified as a Natural Health Product. All alcohol-based hand sanitizers must meet specifications set out in the Natural Health Product Regulations (NHPR) and manufacturers, importers and distributors of these products are required to obtain both a product license and a site license from Health Canada (despite any amendment to the licence by the LCRB). 

During the pandemic, the Government of Canada has set up a temporary, ” fast track” process for approving the distribution, manufacture, packaging, labelling and/or importing of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

McMillan LLP has now helped several companies through this process. If you have any questions or need assistance with this, please contact Shea Coulson: 604-691-7467 or shea.coulson@mcmillan.ca.

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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