November 27, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues,

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

  • PHO Public Order Clarifications: Mandatory masks and gatherings
  • Free liquor industry webinar on COVID-19 regulations and advocacy work: December 3
  • Provincial state of emergency extended and new mask enforcement measures
  • Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy extended to June 2021
  • Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Applications Now Open
  • Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Program
  • New LDB Wholesale Executive Director announced
  • New provincial cabinet ministers announced
  • FAQ: What to do if you have a COVID-19 outbreak
  • ABLE BC in the media
  • Welcome to new ABLE BC members
  • Fast Track Your Future online workshops for Hoteliers

Find all past COVID-19 updates here.

PHO Public Order Clarifications: Mandatory masks and gatherings

On November 19, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced new verbal orders applicable to the entire province until December 7 at midnight, unless otherwise extended.

A copy of the actual order is not yet available, but additional information on the verbal orders can be found here. We will distribute a copy of the public order when it becomes available.

We know many of you have questions about how the new order impacts your business. 

Please refer to our update from November 19 for additional clarification on:

  • Mandatory masks for patrons and employees
  • Gatherings and events suspended
  • Reviewing your COVID-19 safety plan
  • Daily health check for employees
  • What to do if a patron refuses to wear a mask

Read the update here.

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

Free liquor industry webinar on COVID-19 regulations and advocacy work: December 3

Members of BC’s liquor and hospitality industry are invited to a free webinar ABLE BC is hosting on December 3 about current COVID-19 regulations and the advocacy work we’re doing to help your businesses survive.

REGISTER HERE. A Zoom link will be provided by email prior to the webinar.

Note: while all are welcome to attend, the webinar is intended for non-ABLE BC members and those less familiar with the work we do.

Webinar Details

  • Date: Thursday, December 3, 2020
  • Time: 11:00 am to 12:00 pm PT
  • Location: Zoom [download here]

During the webinar, ABLE BC’s Executive Director Jeff Guignard will discuss the following:

  • What is BC’s Alliance of Beverage Licensees, who we are, and what we do
  • What ABLE BC has been doing to help your businesses survive the pandemic
  • Overview of current state of industry: public health orders, temporary liquor policy permissions, and the impact of COVID-19 on BC’s liquor industry
  • Current policy landscape: what we are going to be working on with government for the next several months

REGISTER HERE

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact Danielle Leroux (Director of Membership and Communications): danielle@ablebc.ca.

Provincial state of emergency extended and new mask enforcement measures

On November 24, the Province formally extended the the provincial state of emergency through the end of the day on December 8, 2020.

New mask enforcement measures

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, is aligning the Province’s measures under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) with the provincial health officer’s (PHO) guidance that masks must be worn in indoor public places.

This new order under the EPA will ensure we have the tools necessary to enforce the mask mandate as recommended by the PHO.

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older, in many indoor public settings. These include:

  • malls, shopping centres, coffee shops, and retail and grocery stores;
  • liquor and drug stores;
  • airports, city halls, libraries, community and recreation centres;
  • restaurants, pubs and bars;
  • places of public worship;
  • on public transportation, in a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle;
  • common areas of office buildings, court houses, hospitals and hotels;
  • common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity
  • common areas of post-secondary institutions and non-profit organizations

For the purposes of this order, a mask or face covering is defined as a medical or non-medical mask that covers the nose and mouth. Face shields are not a substitute for a mask, as there is an opening below the mouth.

People who cannot wear a mask or who cannot put on or remove a mask without the assistance of others are exempt. A person may not be able to wear a mask for a psychological, behavioural or health condition, or due to a physical, cognitive, or mental impairment.

Masks may be removed temporarily in indoor public places to identify the individual wearing the mask, to consume food or beverage at a location designated for this purpose, while participating in a sport or fitness activity in a sport facility or while receiving a personal or health service that requires the mask to be removed.

Anyone without a mask in an indoor public place or who refuses to comply with the direction of an enforcement officer, including the direction to leave the space, or who responds with abusive or belligerent behaviour, may be subject to a $230 fine.

Read more.

Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy extended to June 2021

On November 20, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) will be extended through to June 2021.

The federal government is also providing a new emergency rent subsidy for businesses that will go directly to tenants, not landlords. Further details are provided below.

As of November 23, businesses can apply for the new subsidies and the subsidies are retroactive to the beginning of October 20.

Changes to the CEWS as of November 19, 2020: 

  • Extended to June 2021
  • The maximum subsidy rate for periods 8 to 10 will remain at 65% (40% base rate + 25% top up)
  • New top up calculation used for periods 8 to 10
  • Deadline to apply is January 31, 2021, or 180 days after the end of the claim period, wherever comes later
  • Starting in period 9, the calculation for employees on leave with pay now aligns better with EI benefits
  • Full details here

Learn more and apply for the wage subsidy here.

Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy Applications Now Open

On November 20, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government is also providing a new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) for businesses that will go directly to tenants, not landlords.
Canadian businesses, non-profit organizations, or charities who have seen a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible for a subsidy to cover part of their commercial rent or property expenses, starting on September 27, 2020, until June 2021.

This subsidy will provide payments directly to qualifying renters and property owners, without requiring the participation of landlords.

If you are eligible for the base subsidy, you may also be eligible for lockdown support if your business location is significantly affected by a public health order for a week or more.

Learn more and apply here.

Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Program

Grants of $10,000 to $30,000 are now available to BC businesses through the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grants.

Learn more and apply now.

We understand there are challenges for some businesses with the grants. ABLE BC, BCHA, Restaurants Canada, and TIABC sent a brief to the Province with several recommendations on how to amend criteria for tourism and hospitality businesses trying to quality for the Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant.

Download the letter here.

The letter points out several criteria that make it difficult for many tourism and hospitality businesses to qualify. Example: employ between two and 149 people in BC for at least four months of the calendar year.

We will update you as this issue progresses. Learn more about the grants here.

New LDB Wholesale Executive Director announced

We are pleased to share that Sairose Fisher has been confirmed as the new Executive Director, Wholesale Operations at the LDB.

Sairose has been acting in this role since mid-February of this year, leading wholesale operations through what have been very challenging and unprecedented times.

Sairose joined the LDB in 2015 as the Director, Wholesale Supply Chain, shortly after the LDB separated their wholesale and retail lines of business, and was responsible for leading the modernization and transformation of the LDB’s wholesale supply chain planning, procurement and customer ordering. She brought with her a wealth of executive supply chain experience from her former roles, which include her roles as the Vice President, Merchandising for Roots & Roots ’73 and as the Vice President, Planning & Supply Chain for Sterling Shoes, among her other diverse experience.

Please join us in offering our congratulations to Sairose on the new role! We look forward to continuing to work with Sairose and her team in the months ahead.

New provincial cabinet ministers announced

Today, Premier John Horgan announced a new cabinet. While many ministers are continuing in their previous roles, there are a number of new cabinet members that will oversee major portfolios such as finance and education. 

“The pandemic has turned the lives of British Columbians upside down,” said Premier Horgan. “We have come a long way together, but we have much farther to go. This skilled, diverse team is ready to continue our fight against COVID-19 and build an economic recovery that includes everyone.”

We are pleased to note that the Honourable David Eby will continue to serve as BC’s Attorney General. We are very much looking forward to continuing to work with him in the days ahead on further measures to support our industry in this time of crisis.

A full list of ministers and parliamentary secretaries is available here.

FAQ: What to do if you have a COVID-19 outbreak

What do you do if employees have COVID-19 symptoms while at work or you have a COVID-19 outbreak in your workplace?

Download ABLE BC’s new FAQ for the steps to follow.

The guide also includes suggested messaging to share with patrons if you temporarily close your establishment, and to help restore customer confidence when you’re ready to reopen.

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

ABLE BC in the media

ABLE BC’s Executive Director continues to speak to media about the impacts of COVID-19 and changing regulations, and the work our industry has been doing to meet or exceed the current stringent public health protocols:

  • CTV News: Restaurants and pubs struggle under BC’s new restrictions
  • Times Colonist: COVID restrictions create uncertainty, confusion for Victoria bars and restaurants

Welcome to new ABLE BC members

Please join us in welcoming new members and associate members to the alliance:

During this crisis, your businesses have been dramatically impacted—the association has been too. Our success is tied to your success. If you’re not already a member and want to support the work we’re doing to help our industry survive, we would appreciate your membership now more than ever.

Sign-up for a membership online or contact Danielle for more information: 604-688-5560 or danielle@ablebc.ca

Fast Track Your Future online workshops for Hoteliers

The BC Hotel Association presents Fast Track Your Future online workshop series: starting December 1. Sign-up by November 27.

Take part in this new 9-session series designed to drive financial recovery and resiliency. Resources are tight and teams around the province are undergoing change or are depleted due to business levels. 

As a result, expectations from hotel ownership groups and asset managers will demand more, expecting their leaders to be accountable, flexible, and creative. The Fast Track Your Future series will help offer a path to success.

Learn more and sign-up here.


Join the fight! Become a member today.

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