June 17, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

In case you missed it, this morning we shared a historic announcement with you: Attorney General David Eby announced today that, effective July 20th, hospitality licensees will be able to temporarily purchase liquor products at a discounted wholesale price.

This policy will remain in place until March 31, 2021, at which time the program will be reviewed. We have shared more details on the announcement below.

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

  • Recap of last week’s updates
  • Historic announcement: pubs, bars, restaurants able to purchase liquor at discounted wholesale price as of July 20
  • Deloitte Final Report Released: BC LDB Wholesale Operations Review
  • Canada Emergency Response Benefit Extended
  • New Canada Emergency Business Account Eligibility
  • BWI Business World: new PPE and PHO approved plexiglass barriers, shields, and masks
  • ABLE BC in the News: BC lifts restrictions on bars and clubs
  • Hospitality Vancouver Association applauds Vancouver City Council move to support Vancouver’s nighttime economy
  • Labatt Webinar on June 18: Reopening and Reigniting the On Trade Channel

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

As always, if you have any additional questions or need to reach us you can email: 
jeff@ablebc.ca or danielle@ablebc.ca.

Recap of last week’s updates

Here’s what you may have missed from ABLE BC last week: 

  • Update on June 12: new Provincial Health Officer public order, ABLE BC Zoom meeting recording, BC Provincial State of Emergency extended, Restaurants Canada COVID-19 survey results, BC Liquor Stores extend hours, alcohol consumption in public places, changes to City of Vancouver occupancy load calculation, COVID-19 Tourism Workforce Impact Survey
  • Update on June 11: new Provincial Health Officer public order. 50% capacity removed and all liquor primaries permitted to open.
  • Update on June 10: invite to Zoom meeting with BCRFA on June 12 and important information on temporary layoffs, termination pay, and potential employer liabilities
  • Update on June 9: BC wineries prepare to reopen across the province, BC Hospitality Foundation call for online lottery items, new COVID-19 resources from go2HR, submission on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Program

Find all past updates here.

Historic announcement: pubs, bars, restaurants able to purchase liquor at discounted wholesale price as of July 20

Attorney General David Eby announced today that, effective July 20th, hospitality licensees will be able to temporarily purchase liquor products at a discounted wholesale price.

This policy will remain in place until March 31, 2021, at which time the program will be reviewed.

This is the most important and significant liquor policy change in a generation. The pricing change will help thousands of neighbourhood pubs and restaurants walk back from the brink of bankruptcy and give them a legitimate chance at surviving the COVID-19 crisis.

ABLE BC estimates that this new pricing structure will reduce the cost of liquor products for pubs and restaurants by up to 20 per cent, which could translate into about five per cent savings that goes directly to their bottom line.

Update from LDB

Changes to the LDB systems will take six to 12 weeks to complete, in two phases:

  • By July 20, hospitality customers will be able to buy liquor at wholesale price – through BC Liquor Stores and LDB Distribution Centres
  • By September 1, the LDB will provide hospitality customers access to the wholesale price list through a hospitality portal

Hospitality customers will continue to pay retail price on their orders until July 20, 2020.

There will be no changes to the current returns policy – all sales are considered final. Details on return guidelines can be referenced here.

Positive change through partnership

Although industry has been seeking this change since wholesale pricing for liquor retailers was introduced in 2015, today’s announcement comes as a direct result of ongoing advocacy efforts by ABLE BC and the Business Technical Advisory Panel (BTAP).

We deeply appreciate how hard the Attorney General worked personally to make this happen. Many politicians of different governments have talked about this change for years, and they all agreed it needed to be done. But Minister Eby put this on his back and got it over the line.

Our industry is immensely grateful to him and his team for being our industry’s champion when we need in most.

As a show of appreciation, ABLE BC is asking all members to reach out directly to the Attorney General to let him know what this change will mean to your business. You may reach him at AG.Minister@gov.bc.ca.

Read more:

Deloitte Final Report Released: BC LDB Wholesale Operations Review

In addition to changes to the temporary hospitality pricing model, work is also underway by government on several other measures including the adoption of recommendations contained in the third-party assessment by Deloitte of the LDB’s liquor distribution centre in Delta. 

Today, government released Deloitte’s final report on BC LDB Wholesale Operations. Read the report 

Among other changes, the report recommended the addition of an order management system that will provide wholesale customers with greater visibility into the status of orders and a transportation management system to optimize transportation efficiency. 

The LDB will begin work on Deloitte’s recommendations after the temporary hospitality pricing model is operational.   

Deloitte also identified options to replace the current system for the delivery of non-stock wholesale product. The LDB says: “These options will be reevaluated once the changes at DDC are operational and we can recalibrate the gains that need to be made.”

With the hospitality pricing announcement this morning, ABLE BC has not had the opportunity to review the Deloitte report in detail.

The Business Technical Advisory Panel, of which ABLE BC is a member, has previously received a detailed briefing on the report and made recommendations on changing the LDB distribution system, based on Deloitte’s feedback. 

We will share more details on the report in the coming days, if we can offer any analysis that seems pertinent.

Read the Deloitte report here

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

Canada Emergency Response Benefit Extended

Prime Minister Trudeau says that the federal government is officially extending the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) by eight weeks, as of this morning.

The CERB gives financial support to employed and self-employed Canadians who are directly affected by COVID-19. Those eligible can receive $2,000 for a four-week period.

The benefit was available from March 15, and was supposed to be maxed out at 16 weeks. This means those who applied for the benefit in March would be running out by July 15.

With the 8 week extension, Canadians are now able to claim 24 weeks of the CERB between March 15 till October 3, 2020.

Learn more about the benefit here.

Note from ABLE BC on the Canada Emergency Response Benefit: 

We understand many of you have concerns that the CERB will disincentivize individuals from working. We wanted to ensure you know: 

  • Individuals can make up to $1000 during a 4-week period while still receiving the CERB
  • Individuals should be reminded they will have to pay taxes on the CERB. I.e. it is not simply $2000 per month in their pocket.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact ABLE BC: 
jeff@ablebc.ca or danielle@ablebc.ca.

New Canada Emergency Business Account Eligibility

More small businesses will soon be able to access the Canada Emergency Business Account.

On June 15, Minister of Finance Bill Morneau announced that as of Friday, June 19, 2020, applications will be accepted so that more small businesses can access the CEBA.

This means that owner-operated small businesses that had been ineligible for the program due to their lack of payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll will become eligible this week

To qualify under the expanded eligibility rules, CEBA applicants with payroll lower than $20,000 will need: 

  • A business operating account at a participating financial institution
  • A Canada Revenue Agency business number
  • A 2018 or 2019 tax return
  • Eligible non-deferrable expenses of between $40,000 and $1.5 million

Eligible businesses will qualify for financing of up to $40,000, with 25 per cent of this being forgivable based on the current terms of CEBA loans. 

Businesses can contact their primary financial institution for more information or to apply directly for CEBA.

More information on the expanded CEBA can be found on the program’s website.

BWI Business World: new PPE and PHO approved Plexiglass barriers, shields, and more

ABLE BC Associate Member BWI Business World has new PPE and PHO approved Plexiglass barriers, shields, and more available.

BWI now carries 5 versions of Plexiglass barriers and shields with 11 different varieties:

  • Version 1: Free Standing Shields/Barriers – sit on your counter top
  • Version 2: Free Standing Shields/Barriers – sit on your counter top and have oversize slots/openings
  • Version 3: Hanging Plexiglass/PETG Protective Shields/Barriers – pre-drilled holes to hang from any type of ceiling or surface and height is PHO approved
  • Version 4: Hanging Plexiglass/PETG Protective Shields/Barriers – adjustable frames and hangers for easy adjustment and versatility. Great for separating tables, office pods, and other free spaces.
  • Version 5: Ultralight Free Standing Shields/Barriers – sit on any counter or flat surface, solid with slots and removable from their base stands

BWI also has new PPE-FM-PVC face shields in standard and flip-up formats.

Visit the BWI website or download the order form to learn more and place your order.

ABLE BC in the news: BC lifts restrictions on bars and clubs

ABLE BC’s Executive Director Jeff Guignard recently spoke to the Globe and Mail about the recent Provincial Health Officer public order, allowing all bars and nightclubs to reopen immediately.

Jeff discussed how nightclubs will have to adapt to meet the PHO order, amongst other issues facing our industry.

Read the full article here.

Hospitality Vancouver Association applauds Vancouver City Council move to support Vancouver’s nighttime economy

In Friday’s update, we shared changes the City of Vancouver is making to support small business recovery: 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.

Read more about those changes here.

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

Hospitality Vancouver Association has shared the following update, extending its thanks to Vancouver Council for its unanimous approval of a motion aimed at providing relief to the nighttime economy sector – by moving Vancouver’s occupancy and distancing policies for city bars in line with the BC Building Code.

Read the update from HVA 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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