February 05, 2021

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues,

Here’s what you’ll find inside today’s update:

  • Urgent update: Super Bowl Sunday
  • ABLE BC in the news
  • Deadline extended to tonight: order 2021 ID Checking Guides
  • ABLE BC Annual General Meeting: February 16
  • New funding for businesses to launch online
  • go2HR complimentary COVID-19 safety plan review service
  • go2HR SECOR program assists businesses with safety plans and saving money
  • DVBIA 2020 Year-End Downtown Economic Snapshot
  • Provincial state of emergency extended

Find all past COVID-19 updates here.

Urgent update: Super Bowl Sunday

With Super Bowl this Sunday, we know there is much confusion and speculation around how your businesses may be impacted – particularly if there will be additional restrictions imposed on licensed establishments and what you are allowed and not allowed to do.

ABLE BC, the BCRFA, and Restaurants Canada have been in regular joint discussions with the Provincial Health Officer and her staff to clarify how licensed establishments can operate during Super Bowl.

We have confirmed: there will be no new restrictions announced for Super Bowl.

However, you must not host or promote anything resembling an “event,” meaning you must treat Super Bowl as any other televised sports game you might routinely display.

Here is how you should be operating on Super Bowl Sunday: 

  • Do not actively promote Super Bowl Sunday and/or any promotions, contests, specials, draws, etc. you may be holding on Sunday
  • Do not have any promotional sales or anything that would make Sunday seem ‘special’ or out of the ordinary (i.e., like an event)
  • Do not have any giveaways, door prizes, raffles, draws, etc.
  • Do not sell advance tickets
  • Do not have an entrance cover charge

During Dr. Henry’s COVID-19 update on Monday and Premier Horgan’s remarks on Tuesday, government has made clear they do not want British Columbians gathering with people outside their household or bubble to watch the Super Bowl – whether it’s at home, in a bar, or in a restaurant.

Operators must also be stringent with following COVID-19 protocols and safety plans.

For our full Super Bowl update, please click here.

ABLE BC in the news

ABLE BC’s Executive Director Jeff Guignard spoke with media this week about Super Bowl Sunday:

  • Vernon Morning Star: Super Bowl ‘a rare profitable day’ for BC pubs, owners says
  • Times Colonist: No screaming, no loud TVs at Victoria bars for Super Bowl Sunday
  • CBC News: BC bar and restaurant industry braces for renewed restrictions ahead of Super Bowl Sunday
  • City News 1130: BC bars, restaurant not expecting last-minute Super Bowl restrictions
  • CTV News: Some pubs fearing another last-minute rule change before Super Bowl
  • City News 1130: Restaurants, pubs safer than homes for watching Super Bowl, says industry group

Note: some of these interviews were done before ABLE BC and our industry partners confirmed there will be no new restrictions for Super Bowl. See our update above for full details.

Deadline extended to tonight: order 2021 ID Checking Guides

The NEW 2021 North American ID Checking Guide Book and NEW 14th Edition International ID Checking Guide Book are now available to order through the ABLE BC office. Both guides have been updated since 2020.

Place your order HERE by end of day today (February 4, 2021).

The ID Checking Guide Books help you and your staff make accurate, on-the-spot verification of driver’s licenses and ID cards – your best protection against ID fraud. These books also help ensure you are kept updated on the latest versions of all ID formats. 

For more information on the ID Checking Guide Books, including pricing please download our FAQ.

ABLE BC Annual General Meeting: February 16

On Tuesday, February 16, 2020 at 10:00 am, ABLE BC is hosting our Annual General Meeting virtually. All members in good standing with the Alliance are invited to attend. All non-members are also encouraged to attend, but cannot vote.

The AGM will be held via Zoom. Please RSVP by February 15 to Danielle Leroux (Director of Membership and Communications): danielle@ablebc.ca. A Zoom link will be sent out prior to the AGM.

The AGM agenda will include: 

  • Introducing our newly elected 2020-21 Board of Directors
  • Update on 2019-20 activities
  • Presentation of the Alliance’s 2019-20 Financial Statements and Annual Report
  • Discussion about the policy issues and COVID-19 recovery efforts ABLE BC’s Board of Directors will focus on in 2021
  • New business

RSVP now. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact jeff@ablebc.ca.

New funding for businesses to launch online

On February 3, the provincial government announced the new Launch Online Grant program: designed to help over 1,500 eligible small and medium-sized BC businesses adapt to changes in consumer behaviour and pivot to market their products online. 

The program is based on a first come, first-served basis and will run until March 31, 2021 or until all funds are distributed. 

These grants will provide business owners, including those in hard-hit sectors such as retail, tourism and restaurants, with up to $7,500 to build or improve their online store and promote BuyBC at a local, national and international level.

Grant recipients can use the funding for a variety of online-related expenses, including pictures, creating an online inventory system, advertising costs, subscription costs of an e-commerce platform and training staff to manage the website.

As part of the program, successful applicants must use one or more local BC service providers to complete their online store.
Eligibility criteria for businesses include having:

  • a goods and services tax number and paying taxes in BC
  • generated sales of more than $30,000 in either 2019 or 2020
  • one to 149 employees (applications can be submitted by sole proprietors)
  • repeatable products, or in the case of artists and jewellers, individual items that have slight differences (e.g., paintings and rings)

Learn more and apply here.

go2HR complimentary COVID-19 safety plan review service

go2HR’s team of health and safety professionals has launched a new program to help tourism and hospitality businesses review their COVID-19 safety plan. Their experts will review your safety plan and provide recommendations and targeted feedback to help you meet current requirements.

This new initiative is designed to support employers in conducting an effective review of their COVID-19 safety plans and to help ensure all the relevant orders, guidance, and industry protocols have been factored in.

Tourism and hospitality employers who are interested in this complimentary service are requested to register, using this registration link.


After registering, you will be contacted by a member of go2HR’s health and safety team and will be asked to submit your COVID-19 safety plan documentation to go2HR by email. (All documents received will be treated in confidence). A 1:1 telephone consultation may also be requested, to learn more about your business and to discuss the specifics of your safety plan.

Your safety plan will be reviewed against a comprehensive checklist. The completed checklist will be sent to you, outlining the key findings and suggestions for further development of your plan.

Please contact go2HR’s health and safety team if you have any questions about your plan or need support with any other aspect of workplace health and safety: safety@go2hr.ca.

go2HR SECOR program assists businesses with safety plans and saving money

Small tourism and hospitality businesses with fewer than 20 employees can take advantage of a special program that go2HR offers, the Small Employer Certificate of Recognition (SECOR) program, which is tailored specifically to their unique needs. 

Why invest? Safety has never been more critical from a workplace standpoint and going above and beyond the requirements will have positive business outcomes. What’s more, SECOR certified employers can see a 75% reduction on their base WorkSafeBC premiums, up to a maximum of $1,000.

Learn more and find out how to participate.

DVBIA 2020 Year-End Downtown Economic Snapshot

It’s been one year since Canada’s first confirmed case of COVID-19. The pandemic’s impact is global in magnitude and differs by region – even at the neighbourhood level. Now more than ever it is important to understand how downtowns have been impacted, and to measure economic recovery.  

The DVBIA’s latest report examines the impacts of COVID-19 on downtown Vancouver’s street-level businesses, hotels, workplaces and mobility. Information presented is based on the best available data at the time of development. 

Click here to download the DVBIA’s report, offering further context about the extent of the pandemic’s impact and greater Vancouver’s economic recovery plan.

Provincial state of emergency extended

The Province of British Columbia has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on February 16, 2021, to allow staff to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns and COVID-19 outbreaks.

On December 16, 2020, the Province announced enhanced enforcement measures to keep British Columbians safe and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. This included strengthening COVID-19 fine collection measures and asking provincial enforcement officers to support police and increase enforcement by issuing violation tickets during their normal course of duties or when in public places.

The Province continues to use, with the support of police and other enforcement officials, measures under the EPA to limit the spread of COVID-19, including issuing tickets to owners or organizers contravening the PHO’s orders.


Between August 21, 2020, and January 29, 2021, 806 violation tickets were issued, including:

  • 141 $2,300 tickets to owners or organizers contravening the PHO’s order on gatherings and events
  • 28 $2,300 violation tickets for contravention of the PHO’s Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order
  • 637 $230 tickets issued to individuals who refused to comply with direction from law enforcement

Additionally, since the pandemic began, police agencies in British Columbia have issued 90 violation tickets to individuals who were in contravention of the Federal Quarantine Act, totalling $98,929.
Since the start of the pandemic, WorkSafeBC has conducted 21,813 COVID-19 related work site inspections. Read more.

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