April 06, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

As this crisis continues, we remain committed to getting you the answers and support you need as quickly as possible to help you make critical decisions for your business and employees.

We also remain committed to staying in touch with you every day as we strive to make sense of the most current information and announcements.  

But from now on, unless something urgent arises we’ll be taking Sundays off. Aside from today’s update below, you’ll next hear from us on Monday. 

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to send your questions by email to either: jeff@ablebc.ca or danielle@ablebc.ca.   

Best wishes for a safe and healthy weekend.

Included in today’s email:

  • Recap of updates from week of March 30, 2020
  • New Liquor Policy Directive: Extension of Store and Delivery Hours for Liquor Retail Outlets
  • Webinar: Canada Emergency Response Benefit and Wage Subsidy
  • Updated Overview of Federal and Provincial Government Support
  • What you need to do now to be ready for federal support applications next week
  • BC Ferries Service Levels Adjusted 

Please continue to send your questions by email to ABLE BC: 
jeff@ablebc.ca or danielle@ablebc.ca

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

Recap of updates from week of March 30, 2020

Because Monday seems like a very long time ago, here’s what you may have missed this week from ABLE BC:

  • Update on March 30: 75% wage subsidy, BDL cyber-attack update, retail food and grocery store guidelines, helpful links and resources for your business
  • Update on March 31: mental health resources, call to ABLE BC associate members, updates from Sleeman Breweries and ContainerWorld, support BC Hospitality Foundation, City of Vancouver COVID-19 business survey
  • Update on April 1: Canada Emergency Response Benefit and Wage Subsidy details, Provincial State of Emergency extended, HR and OHS resources, BC Hydro relief package, podcast interview with Jeff Guignard
  • Update on April 2: BDL current ordering procedure, reopening your Liquor Primary for take-out and delivery, new provincial guidelines to support compliance with PHO, BC support for essential services, 10 things to address cash flow issues, COVID-19 Supply Hub, and no-cost ways to cut your energy costs
  • Update on April 3: WorkSafeBC supports, federal government essential services list, webinar download on essential services, LCRB policy directive for hand sanitizer manufacturing and packaging, offer from Rising Tide Consultants, order hand sanitizer, protective cashier shields
  • Urgent Update on April 3: temporary extension to store and delivery hours for liquor retail outlets

Find all ABLE BC updates here.

New Liquor Policy Directive: Extension of Store and Delivery Hours for Liquor Retail Outlets

Effective April 3, 2020, the LCRB is temporarily extending the hours of liquor service for Licensee Retail Stores, Wine Stores and Special Wine Stores, and Manufacturer Onsite Store endorsements to no earlier than 7:00 am and end no later than 11:00 pm. 

These optional extended hours are intended to assist retailers in implementing the Provincial Health Officer’s recommendations, including social distancing and providing early shopping hours for seniors and the vulnerable population. For example: most grocery stores are now inviting customers 60+ to shop one hour before stores open to the general public. 

As part of this temporary policy change, the LCRB is also authorizing delivery services to purchase liquor on behalf of a customer from a liquor store or from any licensee authorized to sell in unopened containers, and deliver and sell that liquor to a customer, provided the delivery does not take place between 11:30 pm and 7:00 a.m. 

This new policy is effective immediately and is in effect until July 15, 2020. Licensees do not need to apply to change their hours of sale. 

Please review the Terms and Conditions Handbooks for more information:

Download a copy of the new policy directive here

A note from ABLE BC: this temporary change is in direct response to our industry’s coordinated efforts through the Business Technical Advisory Panel. We greatly appreciate the ongoing work of Attorney General David Eby, his staff, and the LCRB to support our industry in this time of crisis. Several other recommendations are currently being examined, and we hope to have additional news for you soon.

We want to reiterate to members: the logic of allowing liquor retail outlets to open earlier started from a public health perspective of allowing seniors, those with compromised immune systems, and the most vulnerable to shop during off-peak hours. 

As this crisis continues, we want liquor retailers to have that same flexibility to service those customers. We’ve also heard from some stores that the mornings have become their busiest times, so this temporary change will gives those stores additional flexibility to manage operations and follow social distancing guidelines.

You can find signage we created for social distancing to post in your liquor store here

All COVID-19 signage can be downloaded for free in our online store. Add any COVID-19 signage you want to your cart. Upon completing the check-out information, you will be given the PDF files to download.

Of course, extending your liquor hours is not mandatory. We understand how many of you are struggling to find employees to staff your regular hours as it is. You just now have the option to open earlier if you think it would be beneficial for your business or customers.

New member resource coming next week: in response to member requests, we will be putting together a crisis communications package – including suggested messaging and templates – you can share with your employees and staff. This will help you communicate the importance of social distancing, the steps you are taking to keep your store safe and healthy, what customers can do to help, and more.

If you have any communications or social media template ‘requests,’ please send them to Danielle: danielle@ablebc.ca

Webinar: Canada Emergency Response Benefit and Wage Subsidy

Registration is now open for Restaurant Canada’s upcoming webinar:Navigating COVID-19: CERB and Wage Subsidy taking place on Monday, April 6 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm ET.

Join lawyer Mike Maclellan of CCPartners as he discusses what the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is, who is eligible for this benefit, and how to apply for it. 

The webinar will also review the differences between CERB and EI and the who should apply for what program. Mike will walk through the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy Program and speak to what the necessary qualifications are in addition to explaining how to apply.

During this webinar, some of the most pressing issues will be addressed, including:

  • What the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is and who qualifies for the program
  • How the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy Program impacts you and your business
  • Understanding the differences between the CERB and EI programs

Can’t make it, but still interested? Register now and Restaurants Canada will send you the webinar recording afterwards so you can catch up on your own time.

Updated Overview of Federal and Provincial Government Support

Global Public Affairs has created an updated overview of federal and provincial government support. 

The table indicates what government measures impact businesses, changes to employment and labour, and provides links to find more information.

Download their comprehensive summary here.

What you need to do now to be ready for federal support applications next week

There are 3 key programs the federal government has introduced to support individuals and businesses (covered in detail below):

  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit: applications open starting April 6
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: applications opening soon
  • Canada Emergency Benefit Account: applications available through your primary lending institution in mid-April (three weeks after March 27)

We have included instructions at the bottom of this article on ways you can prepare yourself and business to apply for federal support.

1) Canada Emergency Response Benefit 

  • $500 per week for up to 16 weeks temporary income support 
  • Available to people who are unemployed or unable to work because of COVD-19
  • Retroactive to March 15, 2020 and available until October 3, 2020
  • Employees cannot voluntarily quit their job to receive this benefit 
  • Applications will open starting April 6 based on birth month
  • Find full eligibility criteria and application information here 

Questions around CERB and Employment Insurance: 

If you have stopped working because of COVID-19, you should apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, whether or not you are eligible for Employment Insurance. 

Starting April 6, 2020, there will be a single portal to assist you with the application process.

Until April 6, Canadians who are eligible for Employment Insurance and who have lost their job can continue to apply for Employment Insurance. If you became eligible for EI regular or sickness benefits on March 15, 2020 or later, your claim will be automatically processed through the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

If you are not eligible for Employment Insurance, find out how you can get ready to apply for the CERB through the Canada Revenue Agency.

2) Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

  • 75% wage subsidy for eligible employers for up to 12 weeks up to a weekly max of $847 per person
  • Available to eligible employers that see a drop of at least 30 per cent of their revenue 
  • Retroactive to March 15, 2020 and available until June 6, 2020
  • Eligible employers will apply for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy through the Canada Revenue Agency’s My Business Account portal as well as a web-based application. More details about the application process will be made available shortly.
  • Applications will be opening soon 
  • Read more about eligibility, calculating revenue loss, and subsidy amount here

3) Canada Emergency Business Account (part of the Business Credit Availability Program)

  • Government-guaranteed loan of $40,000 interest free for 1 year, for businesses with a payroll under $1,000,000
  • $10,000 is eligible for complete forgiveness if $30,000 is fully repaid on or before December 31, 2022. If the loan can’t be repaid by December 31, 2022, it can be converted into a 3-year term loan charging an interest rate of 5%. 
  • Applications are through your primary lending institution and will be available in mid-April (three weeks after March 27)

Prepare yourself and your business to apply for federal support

CRA My Business Account: Businesses will use My Business Account to apply for the CEWS. Completing your My Business account through Canada Revenue Agency can take several days. Create your account as soon as possible. Find more information about the My Business account on the CRA website.

CRA My Account: Individuals will use My Account to apply for the CERB starting April 6. Instructions on how to set up and prepare your My Account can be found here. Alternatively, individuals can apply by phone for CERB.

Whether you apply online or by phone, the federal government has set up specific days for individuals to apply for CERB based on your birth month.

Find the guidelines here.

BC Ferries Service Levels Adjusted Due to COVID-19

Effective Saturday, April 4th, service level adjustments are as follows: 

  • Regular sailings on the Tsawwassen – Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen – Duke Point are reduced to four round trips a day from the present eight on both routes 
  • Four additional “cargo only” round trips will be provided on the Tsawwassen – Duke Point route, to ensure essential goods are transported to and from Vancouver Island 
  • Service on the Langdale – Horseshoe Bay route is reduced to six round trips a day from the present eight 
  • All service on the Horseshoe Bay – Nanaimo route is suspended 
  • All service on the Mill Bay – Brentwood Bay route is suspended 
  • For northern and mid-coast communities, service will continue to operate at the current off-peak (winter) service levels. The summer direct service from Bella Coola to Port Hardy will not be introduced at this time 
  • Changes will be coming to the Tsawwassen – Southern Gulf Islands and Swartz Bay – Southern Gulf Islands service. Details are currently being finalized and will be announced soon. 

Read the full BC Ferries Media Release.

For more information:

Public Health Agency of Canada Website

Updates from the Government of British Columbia

Updates and Resources from ABLE BC

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

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