June 04, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

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

  • BC Government issues new order changing federal commercial rent program
  • Minimum wage increased on June 1
  • LDB Wholesale update: expansion to limited selection bottle pick service 
  • WorkSafeBC update: inspections during COVID-19 pandemic
  • City of Vancouver update: Mayor’s advocacy in support of businesses
  • ABLE BC Member Discount: Rising Tide Consultants liquor licensing or permitting consulting
  • New and updated COVID-19 signage
  • British Columbians invited to share ideas virtually for Budget 2021
  • Restaurants Canada: COVID-19 foodservice survey
  • Octaform: Quick Divider Panels for COVID-19 response

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.

BC Government issues new order changing federal commercial rent program 

On June 1, the BC government issued a new order under the Emergency Program Act protecting BC businesses eligible for rent support from the federal government (Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program) from evictions.

Minister of Finance Carole James says: “Preventing landlords who are eligible for CECRA from evicting tenants can encourage landlords to apply for the program and give some temporary relief to businesses who have been hardest hit by the pandemic.”

Eligible businesses whose landlords choose not to apply for the federal CECRA program will be protected from evictions due to unpaid rent payments through to the end of June 2020, as determined by the federal program timelines.

BC’s Emergency Program Act order restricts the termination of lease agreements and the repossession of goods and property.


The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program provides relief for small businesses experiencing severe financial hardship due to COVID-19. It offers forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners to reduce the rent owed by their impacted small business tenants and to meet operating expenses on commercial properties.

Property owners must offer a minimum of a 75% rent reduction for the months of April, May and June 2020. The CECRA loans to landlords will be forgiven if the landlord complies with program terms and conditions, including an agreement to not recover forgiven rent amounts when the program is over.

Learn More

Minimum wage increased on June 1

Despite industry collective efforts to delay the scheduled minimum wage increase and offer businesses much-needed relief, the province moved ahead with the planned minimum wage increase on June 1 to $14.60 an hour, from $13.85 an hour. The liquor server wage increased to $13.95 an hour, from $12.70 an hour.

Earlier this month, ABLE BC contacted Ministry Bains expressing our concerns. You can read his response here.

We are deeply frustrated and disappointed with the Minister’s decision to ignore our industry’s urgent financial realities at this time. We encourage members to write directly to Minister Bains to express disappointment at: LBR.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Read more about BC minimum wage increase here.

LDB Wholesale Update: expansion to limited selection bottle pick service

We are pleased to share LDB Wholesale Operations will be resuming bottle pick service for an additional selection of SKUs.

The LDB writes on June 1, 2020: 

Bottle pick service for high demand SKUs was restored last month, and another 35 selections from all categories will be available for bottle pick, effective immediately. These 35 products reflect the next top-selling SKUs and were chosen in an effort to support liquor retailers and hospitality customers while ensuring orders will be picked, assembled and shipped on time.

The complete list of all available products can be found on the wholesale operations website.

Wholesale Operations is focused on maintaining uninterrupted service to our customers for the upcoming summer season. We will continue to monitor the ongoing situation related to the COVID-19 epidemic, and hope to return to full bottle service as soon as possible.

Our partnerships are very important to us, and we are committed to working with all our customers to support their operations.

Thank you for your patience as we work to deliver the services and products our mutual customers rely on.

For more information, please visit the LDB Wholesale Operations website.

WorkSafeBC update: inspections during COVID-19 pandemic

WorkSafeBC has released a new FAQ on inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Download it here.

The document outlines:

  • What employers can expect during an inspection
  • What document you will need to show an inspector
  • What happens if you get a phone call from WorkSafeBC
  • What happens after the inspection
  • How the inspector will maintain safety during the visit 

Learn more and read the FAQ here.

All employers are required to develop a COVID-19 safety plan and have a copy available in their establishment to show inspectors. 

Download and use the WorkSafeBC COVID-19 safety plan template.

City of Vancouver update: Mayor’s advocacy in support of businesses

Last week, City of Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart outlined recent actions the City has taken to support Vancouver’s economy.

Recent actions include: council adopting a new expedited patio expansion policy starting June 1, eliminating the need for staff reviews, and allows the use of both public and private space at no charge to applicants.

In addition, Mayor Stewart also gave voice to three issues that have been raised by Vancouver’s hospitality sector roundtable (of which ABLE BC is a member):

  • Proposal to temporarily cap third-party delivery platform commissions at no more than 15 per cent 
  • Metro Vancouver mayors’ ask to expand the existing BC property tax deferment program to cover all businesses and non-profits
  • Shortcomings of the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance program

Read the full news release here.

Learn more about the City of Vancouver’s expedited patio expansion policy application process here.

ABLE BC Member Discount: Rising Tide Consultants liquor licensing or permitting consulting 

ABLE BC long-time Associate Member Rising Tide Consultants is here to help you navigate through any liquor licensing or permitting requirements to reopen your establishment, such as patios and expanded service areas.

During these challenging times, Rising Tide Consultants is pleased to offer ABLE BC members a 20% discount off regular consulting fees

Read more about their offer here

For more information or a free initial consultation, please contact Rising Tide Consultants: 604-669-2928 or info@risingtideconsultants.ca.

New and updated COVID-19 signage

We have updated the COVID-19 signage in our online store with new and more professional designs. 

Download free PDF copies below or by visiting our online store:

If you have additional signage requests, please email Danielle: 

British Columbians invited to share ideas virtually for Budget 2021

All British Columbians are encouraged to share their ideas virtually for Budget 2021.

Consultations will occur virtually through video and teleconference on June 1-4, 8-12, 15-19 and 22-24, 2020, with hearings and presenters grouped into small panels based on various themes.

British Columbia’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services also invites people to participate in this year’s budget consultation by completing the survey online or making a written, audio or video submission. 

The survey is now open, with the deadline to receive all submissions set for June 26, 2020 at 5:00 pm PT. Public input will be included in the committee’s report to the legislative assembly, expected to be released in August 2020.

Learn More

Restaurants Canada: COVID-19 foodservice survey 

Restaurants Canada wants to know how your foodservice business is doing as jurisdictions across the country move forward with reopening. 

Complete their 5-minute COVID-19 foodservice survey here.

The information you provide will support our ongoing engagement with all levels of government across the country to ensure the needs of foodservice are addressed as part of evolving COVID-19 recovery plans.

This survey should take less than 5 minutes to complete and will remain open until Friday, June 12, 2020. The information you provide in this survey will be kept strictly private and confidential. Your responses will not be viewed on an individual basis but analyzed in aggregate form.

Begin survey here.

Octaform: quick divider panels for COVID-19 response

Octaform Systems Inc., a modular solutions provider, understand the difficulties that have arisen in the service industry due to COVID-19 and are rapidly expanding their current distribution of healthcare supplies to fill the void.

As you know, for businesses to reopen, and for all staff and patrons to feel safe, proper social distancing is required.

With this in mind, Octaform suggests that you consider creating a simple barrier between each set of table or booths. Barriers can allow for increased capacity while making sure that all contact is reduced to only the parties that entered together, drastically reducing the risk of line-of-sight transmission.

Octaform’s TempWall Quick Divider panels come:

  • Within 2-3 business days
  • Ready to assemble in 5 minutes allowing for a clean and quiet setup with no dust or debris 
  • Non-porous and smooth, heavy-duty, and impact resistant
  • With a coating of Microban Aegis Microbial Shield, as a registered Class 1 Medical Device in Canada, and are extremely easy to clean
  • Tall enough and wide enough to protect any environment

For more information, please visit the Octaform website

To place an order, please contact: 
Ian Ham, Business Development Executive
Email: ian.ham@octaform.com
Cell: 604-760-8421

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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