April 01, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

The COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve rapidly and we’re working hard to get answers for you.

We know many of you have questions about the federal government’s support programs, in particular the Emergency Wage Subsidy – like how the 30% revenue threshold is calculated or whether the subsidy still applies if you’ve already laid off staff. 

Like you, we’re still waiting to receive further details on the application process and eligibility criteria. Details will be posted on the federal government website when they’re available and we will let you know as soon we have more information.

Included in today’s email you will find: 

  • Webinar on April 1: Essential Workplaces and Services
  • Mental Health Resources and Counselling during COVID-19
  • Call to Associate Members: do you have a service or product that can support members during this time?
  • Update from Sleeman Breweries
  • Update from ContainerWorld
  • Purchase Wines from Corcelettes Estate Winery and Support BC Hospitality Foundation 
  • Complete the City of Vancouver COVID-19 Business Survey

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.

Webinar on April 1: Essential Workplace and Services

McMillan LLP invite you to a free webinar on Wednesday, April 1 at 12:00 pm EST: “Essential” Workplaces and Services – A National Roundup and Best Practices for Managing Business Closures.

Register here

To slow the spread of the coronavirus, provincial governments across Canada have defined “essential” businesses and some provinces have ordered non-essential businesses to cease operations. The Federal government has prohibited foreign nationals from entering Canada, and has ordered returning Canadians to quarantine, unless they provide essential services.

Join lawyers from McMillan’s Business Law Group and public affairs advisors from McMillan Vantage for a webinar on Wednesday, April 1 as they discuss the nationwide impacts, rules and regulations for defining “essential” workplaces and services and the closure of non-essential businesses.

In this presentation they will specifically consider:

  • Categories of “essential” workplaces and services in every province
  • What non-essential businesses are permitted to do
  • Treatment of online businesses
  • Special rules for suppliers to essential businesses
  • How to get clarification from government
  • Penalties for non-compliance
  • Influencing designations yet to be made and advocating for changes
  • What’s expected in future

Register here

Mental Health Resources and Counselling during COVID-19

If you or your employees need support during this time, here are some helpful mental health resources and counselling options:

Mind the Bara non-profit based in Vancouver and a mental health resource, support system, and community hub designed for the hospitality industry.

Mind the Bar is helping hospitality workers get fast-tracked for access to any mental health professional within the LifeWorks app. Counselling sessions on the app generally cost $125 – but this is currently completely free for hospitality workers. The app also offers a number of mental health resources. 

Hospitality workers have to apply for a free Mind the Bar membership here. They should be approved within 24 hours and will then be granted access to the LifeWorks app.

WIRTH Hatsa Vancouver-based hat company supporting mental health initiatives. WIRTH Hats is offering free counselling to anyone in need this month. Their website also has a comprehensive list of mental health resources, including low-cost counselling options in BC.

Restaurants Canada: visit their website for mental health resources, including a webinar on ‘Managing Stress and Mental Health During COVID-19 Pandemic,’ and self-care and resilience guides.

BC Government: visit the provincial government website for practical tips on managing your mental health and anxiety during COVID-19 and related resources, including where to get counselling.

Call to ABLE BC Associate Members

If you have a product or service that could support our members during this time, we want to hear from you and help spread the word! 

Is there some way we could support you and your business during this challenging time? 

Please contact Danielle: danielle@ablebc.ca

Update from Sleeman Breweries

Sleeman Breweries has shared the following update with ABLE BC:

Since the closures on March 17, our distribution team has picked up and processed full goods and keg returns (in excess of $150,000) across the province, in order to help out struggling on-premise accounts. 

Our AP department is slightly overwhelmed, but managing as many as returns as possible daily. We understand many suppliers have suspended returns, but felt this was a necessary action and wanted to be proactive with our customer base. 

Also, with BDL dealing with challenges from their recent cyber-attack, the Sleeman order desk is managing a very high volume of orders. So far, we are keeping up with supply and deliveries.

All departments at Sleeman Breweries LTD are working very hard to keep the supply of products moving and continuing to provide a high level of service to our customers. 

We wish everyone well through this difficult time.

Update from ContainerWorld

ContainerWorld has shared the following update with ABLE BC:

Our inbound volumes of import product remains steady, while inbound domestic winery volumes are have been increasing during the past two weeks, in response to the COVID-19 created increased sales  through the BCLDB and private liquor stores.

BCLDB ordering is high this week, roughly 25% to 30% higher than last week. This is replenishment due to the high consumer demand experienced by BCLS and private stores the last couple of weeks. 

We conference call with the BCLDB multiple times each week to discuss shipping volumes for the current and subsequent week to ensure that we are in sync and remain as current as is possible, as their ordering ramps up throughout the week.

Our private distribution channel remains strong; although this has been focused on the LRS and BCLS locations almost exclusively.

Currently our keg shipping volumes are down to very small numbers – an indicator of the effect COVID-19 is having on the hospitality sector.

There are ninterruptions in our Commercial Logistics (CLI) Direct Store Distribution (DSD) operations and the absenteeism rate has remained reasonably low, to date. 

However, within our Richmond warehouse operation, which has a much larger work force, we are experiencing increasing COVID-19 related absenteeism. This is affecting our pick capabilities, but we are addressing it with significant overtime to try and maintain ‘on-time” shipping volumes with the BCLDB and CLI.

Our Interior operations (Kamloops and Kelowna) remain intact, however, they are being hampered by the unfortunate challenges BDL is experiencing as a result of the recent attack on their computer systems.

ContainerWorld will continue to share regular updates with us on their beverage alcohol activities in BC.

Purchase Wines from Corcelettes Estate Winery and Support BC Hospitality Foundation

From now until May 31, 2020, Corcelettes Estate Winery will donate $1 from every bottle of wine sold in BC to the BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF). The support from the Similkameen winery comes at an important time for our industry’s charity, which has had to postpone all signature fundraising events due to the COVID-19 virus. 

As you well know, the BC hospitality sector is struggling in the wake of the pandemic, and as a result donations to the BCHF have slowed significantly. 
The charity’s Executive Director, Dana Harris, says “It’s heartwarming to see wineries step up to ensure our organization will continue to be around to support the most vulnerable people in the local hospitality community. The generosity of the people and businesses in BC never ceases to amaze me.” 

Jesce Baessler, a Partner at Corcelettes, notes “In difficult times it is especially important not to forget those in the hospitality industry, who may be facing serious health and financial issues, who are ambassadors of supporting local BC food and wine. They are the ‘boots on the ground,’ championing our wines while we are back at the vineyard farming our grapes. It’s an honour to help where we can.”

Choosing Corcelettes wines is an easy way for BC residents to support our hospitality industry, and the $1 per bottle donation applies to wines purchased in retail outlets as well as through licensees

Funds raised by the program will help the BCHF continue to provide last-resort assistance for hospitality workers in financial crisis due to a serious health condition. The charity also offers a scholarship program that fosters the next generation of hospitality industry leaders.

Complete the City of Vancouver COVID-19 Business Survey

The City of Vancouver has invited businesses in the city to complete the COVID-19 Business Survey. This survey will help city officials better understand your local business needs and challenges, and will guide planning and action for the future. 

The survey will take approximately 15 minutes. If you require technical assistance completing the survey, please contact Alex Brunke at alexbrunke@gmail.com. The results of this survey will be made available on www.michaelwiebe.ca. Fill out the survey here.

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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