May 08, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

As you know, on Wednesday, BC Premier Horgan released BC’s Restart Plan: a four-phased approach to reopening businesses and the province. Government is asking individual sectors to provide specific reopening plans and protocols. ABLE BC is working on this now. 

Liquor Primary Reopening

Thank you to the 50 LP owners and operators who joined us on today’s Zoom call to discuss best practices for reopening liquor primaries in the coming weeks. Your feedback was incredibly valuable.

If you were unable to attend the meeting and would like to receive notes from the meeting, please email Danielle.

What’s next for Liquor Primaries:

  • Based on your feedback, ABLE BC is finalizing the first draft of our Liquor Primary Best Practices Reopening Guide
  • We know many of you have questions about specific regulations around reopening: i.e. patios and capacity. We’re working to get answers for you now.
  • If you are LP owner/operator, we invite you to join us on our next Zoom call: Monday, May 11 at 4:00 pm PT. During this interactive call, we will share with you the draft guide and get your feedback. Please email Danielle to confirm your attendance and get the Zoom meeting link:
  • We will have a final Liquor Primary Best Practices Reopening Guide available by the end of next week.
  • Once the guide is finalized and approved by WorkSafeBC, we will provide additional support to help you implement the reopening protocols.

Liquor Retailers:

We are also creating a Liquor Retail Best Practices Guide: proposed industry standards to help ensure a safe and healthy environment for your customers and staff as the province ‘reopens.’

If you are an LRS owner/operator who wants to help ABLE BC in creating the Liquor Retail Best Practices Guide, we invite you to attend a virtual meeting with ABLE BC’s Executive Director Jeff Guignard on Monday, May 11 at 2:00 pm PT

During the interactive one-hour meeting, Jeff will share an overview of the liquor retail best practices and request your feedback and input. 

Please email Danielle to confirm your attendance and get the Zoom meeting link:

If you are unavailable on Monday at 2:00 pm PT, but would still like to be involved in creating the LRS Best Practices, please email

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

  • Federal government extending Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy beyond June
  • Last chance to complete ABLE BC survey: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program 
  • ContainerWorld Operational Update 
  • Summer 2020 issue of the Quarterly Pour is now available
  • Free Labatt webinar on Monday: Navigating the alcohol industry in the era of COVID-19
  • BC Wine Institute: Reopening Tasting Room Protocols & Best Practices online workshop on May 14
  • Tourism and Hospitality COVID-19 Resource Forum

Find all past updates from ABLE BC here

We hope you enjoy a safe and happy weekend. We will be back with our next update on Monday, May 11. If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us: or

Federal government extending Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy beyond June

This morning, Prime Minister Trudeau said the government is extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy beyond June to “help kick-start” the economy reopening amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

More details will be announced next week.

The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy gave eligible employers 75% of employee wages for up to 12 weeks, retroactive from March 15, 2020, with an original end date of June 6, 2020. The maximum benefit is $847 per employee each week.

Learn more about the wage subsidy.

Last chance to complete ABLE BC survey: Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program

As you know, in response to the global COVID-19 crisis, the BC government and federal government have implemented new policy changes and announced economic programs to support businesses.

This includes the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program: a program announced by the federal government that will lower rent by 75% for small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19. It is expected to be operational by mid-May.

ABLE BC would like your feedback on the effectiveness of the CECRA program. Thank you to everyone who has already taken the time to complete the survey.

If you haven’t already done so, please complete our 1-minute survey on the program. The survey will be closed on May 10. 

If you have any questions or concerns about this survey, please contact ABLE BC:

ContainerWorld Operational Update

ContainerWorld has shared with us the following operational update from May 6:

  • Domestic volumes are up substantially, both in inbound and outbound, through our Direct Store Distribution (DSD) channel in advance of the Victoria Day long weekend.
  • Domestic Exports are also posting outbound increases to the overseas market.
  • Import inbound volumes and outbound to the BCLDB remain steady at this time, and we will be re- orienting manpower as required, if ordering volumes increase in preparation for the Victoria Day long weekend.
  • Out of Province outbound volumes continue to be strong, and we are expecting increased volumes to the Yukon at this time.
  • Volumes in our CLI operations, inclusive of our Kamloops and Kelowna, are continuing to increase in preparation for the long weekend and remain healthy.
  • South Africa has lifted their lockdown restrictions, and we are now able to book your purchase orders to vessel, in order of receipt. Please take into account that there may be a backlog, as the shipping lines work to address all international shipments.
  • Italy is now easing some restrictions, ports continue to be operative, though you can expect to build longer lead times into your timelines.

Summer 2020 Issue of the Quarterly Pour is now available

The summer 2020 issue of the Quarterly Pour is now available: download your copy here.

Feature articles in this issue: 

Read the summer 2020 issue now.

Free Labatt Webinar: Navigating the Alcohol Industry in the Era of COVID-19

Labatt invites you to join them for a free webinar on Monday, May 11 at 11:00 am PT: Navigating the Alcohol Industry in the Era of COVID-19.

Sign-up for this one-hour webinar here

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to drive unprecedented change within the food and beverage sector. Economic and social challenges are changing consumers’ shopping and consumption behaviour, and there continues to be a wide-reaching impact on supply chains, shopping experiences, and what’s available for consumers on store shelves.

As we navigate through this pandemic, one thing is certain – there will be a new normal that will affect consumers and the way they shop. Will you be ready?

During this webinar, you will hear from Labatt’s Vice President of Sales, Ashik Bhat, on the future state of the alcohol and retail landscape

Bhat will share:

  • What other countries can tell us
  • How baskets are different from pre-COVID-19 behaviours
  • Trends underlying alcohol choices
  • Key learnings for the industry from this unique situation, including the opportunities ahead for retailers

Sign-up for this free webinar here

BC Wine Institute: Reopening Tasting Room Protocols & Best Practices online workshop on May 14

The BC Wine Institute wants to ensure that BC wine stakeholders are engaged in a constructive dialogue around what the phases of COVID-19 reopening, and ultimately best practices, looks like and will include. For instance: tasting-by-reservation model, outdoor tasting areas, merchandising and product displays and sales protocols, etc.

They are hosting a free online workshop on Thursday, May 14, 2020 from 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm on reopening tasting room protocols and best practices. 

Workshop registration is limited to 50 people on a first-come basis. Reserve your spot here.

Tourism and Hospitality COVID-19 Resource Forum

Working with industry colleagues, the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Royal Roads University is piloting a free interactive website to help tourism and hospitality businesses get on the road to recovery. 

What makes the site different from other information websites is the opportunity to interact with other businesses and to share information, policies and tools. Aimed at managers and business operators, the site is organized around operations, communications and marketing, human resources, partnerships, as well as the future of the tourism and hospitality sector.  

This forum will complement many of the planning efforts led by DMOs by collating information and providing a space for discussion and collaboration. The pilot site will run for 8 weeks and then retool for the longer term. Additional information will be posted each week based on feedback and need.

To join the pilot for free, please write to Geoffrey Bird at:

For more information:

Public Health Agency of Canada Website

Updates from the Government of British Columbia

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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