May 29, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

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

  • Industry is calling for a working capital grant to get businesses operating again 
  • BC Provincial State of Emergency extended
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Consultation
  • New and updated COVID-19 signage
  • Positive news stories from BC’s hospitality industry
  • Globalism, Localism, Romanticism and the Future of Hospitality 
  • WorkSafeBC announces additional support for employers impacted by COVID-19

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here.

As always, if you have any additional questions or need to reach us you can email: or

Industry is calling for a working capital grant to get businesses operating again

Critical support is still needed to re-open the backbone of the BC economy: tourism, hospitality, and accommodations industries. While the path forward is welcomed, working capital is vital for your businesses to remain solvent until a full path to recovery can be met.

ABLE BC, British Columbia Hotel AssociationRestaurants CanadaThe Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC), and the Metro Vancouver Tourism and Hospitality Response and Recovery Task Force are calling on government to augment existing measures by:

  • Providing a working capital grant to allow tourism, hospitality, and accommodation businesses to re-open their doors and/or prevent permanent closures.
  • Providing a temporary moratorium on evictions for commercial tenants, akin to the residential measures introduced by the Province.
  • Adjusting the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program to ensure that it is more broadly applicable to help businesses that do not meet the CECRA criteria, but who have experienced serious impacts to their sales.
  • Suspending property tax increases and penalties for late payments, as well as any local fees including business licenses.
  • Extending the temporary layoff timelines to align with the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) extension of August 29th, 2020.
  • Extending BC Hydro relief to large and commercial businesses by allowing hotels who are commercial BC Hydro clients the same relief measures as other small and medium size businesses.

Read the full press release on this issue here.

BC Provincial State of Emergency Extended

Yesterday, BC government announced the provincial state of emergency is being extended an additional two weeks to support continued co-ordination of BC’s COVID-19 response. 

“We are now in the longest state of emergency in our province’s history, and British Columbians everywhere have shown we have what it takes to persevere through these challenging times,” said Premier John Horgan. “As we slowly turn the dial on our social and economic activity, we must work together to do so in a way that keeps our communities and loved ones safe in the weeks and months to come.”

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, is extending the state of emergency as BC begins to safely and carefully restart the province. BC is now in Phase 2 of its Restart Plan.

Read the full news release here.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy Consultation

On May 25, the Government of Canada opened up a consultation on the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), which was announced on April 1, 2020, helps employers protect jobs, rehire employees, and provide workers with a decent income. The subsidy covers 75 per cent of an employee’s wages (up to $847 per week) for employers who have been hard-hit by COVID-19.

This consultation will help inform potential changes to the CEWS to help maximize employment and best meet the needs of businesses and workers during these challenging times.

ABLE BC will be submitting feedback to the consultation on behalf of our members. 

We also encourage you to participate in the consultation:

Learn more about the consultation here.

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:

Positive news stories from BC’s hospitality industry

Westwood Pub brings back the carhop service model

Prince George’s Westwood Pub decided to bring back a combination of old ideas and make them new again. By bringing back the carhop.

The Westwood Pub’s public dining area has been closed since the start of the pandemic. A few days ago the kitchen was back in operation.

Wednesday evening the parking lot was full again. Thanks to a memory owner Nathan Coole had when he was a child when the food was brought to the family’s vehicle when visiting a restaurant.

Read more about the pub’s innovative idea here.

Kelly O’Bryan’s is busier than ever

Kelly O’Bryan’s in Kelowna reopened on May 19, after implementing WorkSafeBC protocols and provincial health guidelines.

“The response has been unbelievable,” said Brad Shave, general manager. “The restaurant is busier than it would normally be in the summer as people want to get out of the house.”

Learn more about the health and safety changes Kelly O’Bryan’s has made here.

Do you have a positive news story you’d like to share in our update? Please email Danielle with the details:

Globalism, Localism, Romanticism, and the Future of Hospitality

Lawyer Shea Coulson writes about the future of the hospitality industry – from fear and retrenchment to reform and rebirth: a new globalism for hospitality. 

Read Shea’s op-ed here.

WorkSafeBC announces additional support for employers impacted by COVID-19

On May 26, WorkSafeBC announced it will be waiving premiums for employers who are approved to receive the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) for furloughed workers (employees on leave with full or partial pay).

This change will be retroactive to the March 15, 2020 start date and continue for the duration of the CEWS program. Eligible employers will need to maintain documentation to identify workers who were furloughed as a result of this provincial health emergency.

This is the second measure WorkSafeBC has implemented to provide support for BC’s employers. Approximately 27,000 employers in the province have already opted to take advantage of the premium deferral measure implemented on March 27, 2020. Employers will not be charged a penalty or interest on first quarter premiums, up to the deferral date of June 30, 2020.

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

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