October 08, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues, 

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

  • New survey for Liquor and Food Primaries: temporary liquor policy changes
  • Virtual BC Liquor Conference is two weeks away
  • Exclusive Offer for ABLE BC Members: Emotive Beverages
  • ABLE BC in the news
  • Federal government announces $600M in funding for businesses
  • Provincial Election Debate: October 13
  • New benefits for Canadians unable to work due to COVID-19
  • Tourism and Hospitality Industry Provincial Election Toolkit
  • Register Now: free Restoring Confidence program for businesses
  • Explore BC IPA: Partnership with the BC Ale Trail Team and Six BC Breweries
  • LCRB terms and conditions: closing your establishment
  • BC wine industry: impact of COVID-19 survey results

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.

New survey for Liquor and Food Primaries: temporary liquor policy changes

Since the start of the pandemic, the provincial government has implemented a number of temporary policies to support our industry in this time of crisis.

Please complete this short survey by ABLE BC, BCRFA, and Restaurants Canada about these temporary policies liquor primaries and food primaries.

When government is back in session, this information will be used in our discussions with them to demonstrate the impact of these temporary policies. If you have any questions or concerns about this survey, please contact ABLE BC: info@ablebc.ca.

Virtual BC Liquor Conference is two weeks away

The virtual BC Liquor Conference is two weeks away! Join us online: October 19 & October 20, 2020. Register now.

Here’s what’s on the program:

Monday, October 19

  • Welcome by ABLE BC’s Executive Director Jeff Guignard and update on our policy priorities
  • Address from Hon. David Eby, Attorney General
  • Conflict Resolution: how to respond to challenging situations and difficult customers
  • How to access government funding to support your business
  • COVID and Legal Liability: what are the risks?
  • Why is my insurance so expensive?
  • Special Guest: comedian John Cullen
  • Virtual Happy Hour and Q&A with ABLE BC and Business Technical Advisory Panel
  • Victoria Caledonian Distillery Tutored Whisky Tasting

Tuesday, October 20

  • Liquor retail trends and customer insights
  • Post-COVID profitability for bars and pubs
  • BC’s election and what the future holds
  • Plus: virtual networking opportunities with other industry leaders and preferred suppliers

Register now and join us virtually! Unable to attend all the sessions? Recordings will be provided post-conference.

Exclusive Offer for ABLE BC Members: Emotive Beverages

ABLE BC’s new Associate Member Emotive Beverages is pleased to share with our members an exclusive offer on their premium canned wines.

Download the attached offer to learn more.

28% margin for ABLE BC members! MSRP $14.99 per 4 pack

Contact Emotive Beverages: jeff@thewinesyndicate.ca | 778-999-4466
Order: https://www.ollieorder.com/

ABLE BC in the news

ABLE BC’s Executive Director and our members 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:

  • Castanet: Patio season extends into fall for Vernon businesses
  • City News 1130: Surging insurance costs hitting embattled BC bars, restaurants during pandemic
  • Maple Ridge News: Maple Ridge bar owner wants enforcement, not restrictions for COVID safety

Federal government announces $600M in funding for businesses

On October 2, the Prime Minister announced the federal government is giving $600 million to help small and medium-sized businesses, as many will face continued hardship during the second wave of the pandemic. 

The investment is part of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, which already received $962 million in funding.

According to the Prime Minister, the majority of the funding will be made available to businesses who need support as more lockdowns take effect across the country.

The funding will also go towards bringing capital and technical support to rural businesses and communities through the offices of Community Futures Canada, and five regional development agencies.

To review RRRF eligibility requirements and to apply for support, contact your local regional development agency: Western Economic Diversification Canada (1-888-338-9378).

Provincial Election Debate: October 13

As BC voters prepare to head to the polls on October 24, the British Columbia Broadcast Consortium will present a debate to air on TV, radio, and digital platforms.

The 90-minute televised debate will take place live on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm, and will feature BC Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, BC Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau, and BC NDP leader John Horgan.

The conversation will be moderated by Shachi Kurl, president of the non-profit Angus Reid Institute.

Find a list of all BC election candidates here.

New benefits for Canadians unable to work due to COVID-19

After announcing new legislation to create “three new temporary recovery benefits to support Canadians who are unable to work for reasons related to COVID-19,” the federal government said that the legislation has taken effect starting Monday, October 5.

“Today, the COVID-19 Response Measures Act (formerly Bill C-4) received Royal Assent,” the government said in a statement.

As of October 5, Canadians are able to apply through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for the following benefits:

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) of $500 per week for up to 26 weeks per household for workers unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they must care for a child under the age of 12 or family member because schools, day-cares or care facilities are closed due to COVID-19, or because the child or family member is sick and/or required to quarantine or is at high risk of serious health implications because of COVID-19.

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) of $500 per week for up to a maximum of two weeks, for workers who are unable to work for at least 50% of the week because they contracted COVID-19, self-isolated for reasons related to COVID-19, or have underlying conditions, are undergoing treatments or have contracted other sicknesses that, in the opinion of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, person in authority, government or public health authority, would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

The government said these benefits will be paid on a weekly basis, meaning Canadians will have to reapply each week they are eligible.

Effective October 12, the CRA will open the applications for the Canada Recovery Benefit, which will provide eligible workers with $500 per week for up to 26 weeks for those who have stopped working and who are not eligible for EI, or had their employment/self-employment income reduced by at least 50% due to COVID-19. This benefit will be paid in two-week periods.

To support the delivery of these new recovery benefits, the CRA will provide an attestation-based application process similar to the one used to access CERB payments. Eligible individuals will be able to apply for recovery benefits online through the CRA’s My Account portal or by phone through the CRA’s automated phone line.

For more information:

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Provincial Election Toolkit

ABLE BC, TIABC, BCHA and Restaurants Canada are among the largest tourism and hospitality sector associations in British Columbia, representing hundreds of thousands of employees and businesses throughout the province. 

Together with our partners and stakeholders, we have been working with all levels of government, particularly at the provincial level, to address the enormous challenges our sector has faced since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. 

With the unexpected variable of a provincial election in the middle of a pandemic, our individual and collective efforts become even more important. Informing, educating and questioning candidates of all parties on the issues and needs of the tourism and hospitality industry is paramount to government decisions on recovery efforts post-election. 

This Election Toolkit is your guide to ensure our sector’s voice is both heard and understood by those running for office, and that each party is prepared to address the issues and opportunities to help tourism and hospitality rebound in the months and years ahead.

Download the PDF toolkit.

Register Now: free Restoring Confidence program for businesses

Register your business for the new Restoring Confidence program, a free poster initiative created by the BCRFA and the provincial government.

Sign-up to receive your poster here.

Re-engage customers, increase confidence, and encourage repeat business by displaying a COVID-19 Local Business Poster and promoting your business’s compliance with health and workplace guidelines.

Each COVID-19 Local Business Poster includes a unique QR code that customers can scan to read your business’s COVID-19 Safety Plan. Participation is voluntary and the application can be completed in under 10 minutes.

Learn more and sign-up here. For more information, please refer to this BCRFA Backgrounder.

Explore BC IPA: Partnership with the BC Ale Trail Team and Six BC Breweries

Starting this week, a new limited-edition craft beer is hitting shelves and restaurants around BC to inspire British Columbians to explore their own province along BC’s ale trails this fall. 

The new Explore BC IPA is an exciting collaboration between the BC Ale Trail and six craft breweries across the province, representing BC’s six ultimate experience collections

  • West Coast Culture: Vancouver Island Brewing
  • Northern Wild: Wheelhouse Brewing Company
  • Vineyards, Valleys & Lakes: Field House Brewing Co.
  • Ranches, Rivers & Ranges: Red Collar Brewing Co.
  • Vancouver & Sea-to-Sky: Bomber Brewing
  • Mountain Peaks & Towns: Fernie Brewing Co.

Launching this week during BC Craft Beer Month, the Explore BC IPA invites residents to taste the flavours of British Columbia and support BC’s tourism and hospitality industries this fall by touring BC’s ale trails: itineraries in every region of the province that take beer enthusiasts from brewery to brewery.  

The recipe – developed by all six brewers and produced by Vancouver Island Brewing – celebrates the best of BC bounty, showcasing local ingredients from BC farmers such as haskap berries, blackberries, hops and malted grains. Residents can purchase the product in select BC Liquor Stores, numerous private liquor retailers, craft breweries and restaurants around the province.

For more information on how private liquor retailers can get involved in the BC Ale Trail, click here.

LCRB terms and conditions: closing your establishment
Dormant Licenses 

On June 29, 2020, the LCRB amended the policy around dormant liquor licenses.

Under Policy Directive 20-17, a new prescribed circumstance has been added to the Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation. The general manager is not required to cancel a licence that has been dormant for 2 years or more if the general manager is satisfied that: 

  1. The licensee was prevented from operating the establishment at the beginning of or during the dormancy period for reasons beyond the licensee’s control.
  2. The reasons are not described by other prescribed circumstances. 
  3. The operations in the establishment restart as soon as practicable after the licensee is no longer prevented from operating the establishment because of those reasons. All other existing prescribed circumstances remain unchanged.

Temporary Closures or Changing Hours

Per the Liquor Primary Terms and Conditions, if you are making a temporary change to your hours you must submit an application to the LCRB before the temporary change occurs [see page 12 for details].

If you are planning to close your establishment for an extended period of time, you must report this closure to the Branch and you must also notify the Branch when you plan to resume regular operations (this notification requirement does not apply to seasonal closures). See page 13 for details.

BC wine industry: impact of COVID-19 survey results

A recent industry-wide survey conducted by the BC Wine Institute (BCWI) in collaboration with the BC Grapegrowers’ Association and Leger Marketing, found 83 per cent of wineries and grapegrowers have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. 

In August, the BCWI engaged market research and analytics company, Leger Marketing to conduct an industry-wide survey to help understand and assess the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the BC wine industry, the effectiveness of provincial and federal relief programs and the perceived challenges for the future. 

According to key findings from the survey results, one in 10 BC wineries and grapegrowers noted that they are at risk of closing due to COVID-19, with 58 per cent seeing a loss in revenue and 55 per cent having reduced access to customers.

Read the full results here.


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