June 15, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues,

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

  • New Provincial Health Officer Public Order
  • ABLE BC Zoom Meeting: recording now available
  • BC Provincial State of Emergency Extended
  • Restaurants Canada Survey Results: impact of COVID-19 on foodservice businesses
  • BC Liquor Stores extend hours
  • Municipalities update: alcohol consumption in public places
  • City of Vancouver Update: changes to occupancy load calculation
  • COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Impact Survey
  • Labatt Webinar on June 18: Reopening and Reigniting the On Trade Channel

New Provincial Health Officer Public Order

On June 10, 2020, the Provincial Health Officer released a new public order for liquor and food primaries that supersedes the previous public order from May 22.

This public order removes the 50% capacity limit for licensed premises. Also, liquor primaries are permitted to reopen regardless of whether you serve food or not so long as you can meet the requirements of the order.

Download a copy of the public order here.

Read our update from yesterday for more details.

This positive change is in direct response to the advocacy work of the Business Technical Advisory Panel, as well as ABLE BC and our industry partners the BCRFA and BC Craft Brewers Guild. 

ABLE BC greatly appreciates the ongoing work of the Provincial Health Officer, Attorney General David Eby, staff, and the LCRB to support our industry in this time of crisis.

Clarification on physical barrier height

The new public order lays out specific height requirements for plexiglass or physical barriers: 1.20 meters.

ABLE BC has confirmed with the Office of the Provincial Health Officer: if barriers have already been installed in your establishment, they do not need to be changed, if it is apparent the barriers will sufficiently protect staff and customers.

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

ABLE BC Zoom Meeting: recording now available

This morning, ABLE BC hosted a Zoom meeting to go over the new Provincial Health Officer Public Order and answer any questions you may have.

Download a copy of the recording here.

Links referenced during the meeting: 

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

BC Provincial State of Emergency Extended

On June 10, the BC government formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on June 23, 2020, allowing government to continue to take the necessary steps to keep British Columbians safe.

Restaurants Canada Survey Results: impact of COVID-19 on foodservice businesses

Most foodservice businesses across the country continue to operate at a loss, even as the economy is slowly restarting, according to a new survey from Restaurants Canada.

After months of significantly reduced revenue, or none at all, and now facing months of operating at reduced capacity, many businesses need continued support to survive the road to recovery.

Survey reveals most restaurants are still losing money

For instance, among respondents whose operations are either open for takeout or delivery only, or already offering dine-in services under new restrictions:

  • Six out of 10 said they are operating at a loss.
  • 22% of single-unit operators and only 15% of multi-unit operators said they are just breaking even.

Among restaurants that have reopened their doors for on-premise dining:

  • Fewer than half (31 per cent of single-unit operators and 43 per cent of multi-unit operators) said doing so has had a positive impact on their operations.
  • More than a third (47 per cent of single-unit operators and 39 per cent of multi-unit operators) said the impact on their operations has been negative.
  • The remainder reported no impact or said it’s still too soon to assess.

To learn more:

BC Liquor Stores extend hours

BC Liquor Stores are officially extending their hours. In addition to this, designated stores will now be open on Sundays and statutory holidays.

Find store hours here.

Back in March, BC Liquor Stores reduced hours and made the decision to temporarily remain closed on Sundays amid the pandemic.

Municipalities update: alcohol consumption in public places

Last week, we shared North Vancouver and Penticton were launching pilot projects for alcohol consumption in public places.

On June 10, the City of Port Coquitlam said it is preparing to launch a pilot project permitting public consumption of alcohol at Castle, Settlers, Gates, Lions, Aggie, Evergreen, and Cedar Drive parks until October 31 of this year.

Bylaws to enable Port Coquitlam’s pilot project will come to the June 23 City Council meeting for consideration, which means responsible drinking of beer, wine, or spirits could be permitted at the seven parks as soon as June 24.

After shutting down a motion to allow alcohol consumption in select public spaces, the City of Vancouver will also be reconsidering the idea at an upcoming City Council meeting on June 23.

City of Vancouver Update: changes to occupancy load calculation

On June 11, the City of Vancouver held a Special Council meeting to: “to consider supporting small business recovery by enabling restaurants, wineries, distilleries and breweries to access temporary outdoor patios on private property, waiving permit fees for temporary patios and by enabling increased capacity at liquor primary establishments.”

The following motions were passed on at the meeting and the City of Vancouver will be working to implement them:

Zoning and Development By-law Amendments to Temporarily Allow Patios on Private Property for Businesses

Specifically, the By-law temporarily allows outdoor patios for businesses on private property until October 31, 2020 on sites where patios are currently not permitted and are deemed suitable by the Director of Planning. 

By-law to Amend Street Vending By-law No. 10868 Regarding Amendment to Patio Definitions

The By-law makes a minor amendment to the Street Vending By-law to remove the current restriction of patios to food service establishments. This minor amendment will allow any business in the City of Vancouver to apply for a small patio on public property.

This is a permanent change to the By-law and will allow non-food service businesses to apply to use public space on a permanent basis if the General Manager of Engineering Services approves.

By-law to Enact Temporary Patio and Street Vending Fees

This By-law will temporarily waive all permit and application fees associated with temporary expansion of patio spaces until October 31, 2020.

Expanding Occupant Load Capacity of Liquor Primary Establishments and Other Assembly Uses to Support COVID Economic Recovery

The motion directs city staff to prepare necessary Fire by-law amendments to enable Liquor Primary establishments and other assembly uses to expand their occupant load capacity, to align with Provincial building and fire code requirements.

Members may recall ABLE BC, BarWatch, and Hospitality Vancouver have been advocating to fix Vancouver’s out-dated occupancy load calculations.

Prior to this newly announced change, Vancouver liquor primaries were stuck with a single standard occupancy calculation of 1.2 mper patron, regardless of type of liquor venue being operated. This positive change brings Vancouver’s liquor primaries in line with Provincial requirements and will ultimately allow them to operate with more patrons.

COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Impact Survey

Canada’s tourism sector has been hit hard by the global efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism businesses were among the first impacted and face a lengthy recovery. 

To help shape recovery efforts and ensure they are providing targeted, useful, and timely resources to tourism businesses across the country, Tourism HR Canada has launched the COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Impact Survey.

Please participate. Your valuable input will help them:

  • Determine how deeply the workforce has been affected by COVID-19
  • Assess the effect of government programs like the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) and Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RFFF) in mitigating the effects of COVID-19
  • Identify the capacity of tourism businesses to reopen, rehire, and recover as restrictions are lifted
  • Identify the extent to which tourism businesses understand the protocols and policies they are being asked to implement in order to reopen
  • Augment other research and data collected through various means including new data from Statistics Canada.

We appreciate that hospitality and tourism businesses have been asked to fill out many surveys and provide various types of information over the past few months. The research being conducted through this survey does not appear to be covered elsewhere.

The consolidated data and analysis will be made available to all participating organizations. 

Deadline for responses: June 26, 2020. Complete the survey here.

Labatt Webinar on June 18: Reopening and Reigniting the On Trade Channel

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to drive unprecedented change within the food and beverage sector. Economic and social challenges are changing consumers’ consumption behaviours in both in-home and on-premise.

As we navigate through this pandemic, and we start to see the on-premise open up again, one thing is certain – there will be a new normal that will affect both consumers and operators alike. Will you be ready?

Join Labatt for a free webinar on Thursday, June 18 from 8:30 am to 9:15 am.

Register here.

Hear from Labatt’s Vice President of Sales, Ashik Bhat, and from Labatt’s National VP of On-Premise, Jason Greyerbiehl, on the future state of the alcohol industry.

Labatt will share:

  • Consumer sentiment on returning to bars and restaurants
  • Initial alcohol and beer trends in the on-premise
  • Early learnings from the open provinces
  • Key business considerations

Learn more and register here.

For more information:

Public Health Agency of Canada Website

Updates from the Government of British Columbia

Updates and Resources from WorkSafeBC

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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