September 08, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues,

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

  • Upgraded Hospitality Product Catalogue Now Available
  • Webinar Recording: Violence Prevention and Conflict Resolution
  • ABLE BC Advocacy Update: Expanded patio permissions
  • BC Provincial State of Emergency Extended
  • Canada Emergency Business Account Extended
  • Gathering and Events Guidance
  • Save the date: 2020 Virtual BC Liquor Conference
  • Province confirms tax measure implementation dates, deferral deadlines for businesses

Find all past COVID-19 updates here.

Upgraded Hospitality Product Catalogue Now Available

The LDB Hospitality Product Catalogue is now available with enhanced tools and resources specifically designed to help hospitality customers with their purchasing decisions. 

Hospitality customers with LDB Hospitality Product Catalogue accounts now have the online convenience of researching thousands of products anywhere, anytime with on-demand access to: 

  • Searchable database of more than 60,000 SKUs with detailed product attributes and real-time hospitality pricing information 
  • Favourites tool to save your frequently purchased products, which can be exported or printed for you to use 
  • Hospitality product price promotions and real time wholesale price changes 
  • Downloadable MS Excel hospitality price list that provides past, current and future pricing 
  • Calendar noting upcoming price change effective dates 

The website updates were part of the second phase of systems changes necessary for the temporary pricing model for hospitality licensees allowing them to purchase liquor at the wholesale price, until March 31, 2021. 

If you have not yet done sone, we strongly encourage all hospitality customers to register as soon as possible for a hospitality product catalogue account.

Learn more and register here.

Tutorial videos will also be available soon on the hospitality page of the Wholesale website to help hospitality customers become familiar with the Hospitality Product Catalogue. 

In the meantime, if you have any specific questions regarding the registration process, please contact the LDB Wholesale Customer Centre at wholesalehelp@bcldb.com or 604-775-0681/1-888-775-0681. 

For all other inquiries, please contact your servicing BC Liquor Store, RAS or WCC Victoria (wccvictoriainfo@bcldb.com or 250-356-2906). 

Webinar Recording: Violence Prevention and Conflict Resolution

On August 26, go2HR, in collaboration with the BCHA and ABLE BC, hosted a webinar on violence prevention and conflict resolution in the workplace.

Watch the recording here.

Facilitated by Phil Eastwood, a leading expert in workplace violence and conflict resolution, this session covers:

  • An overview of the history of violence prevention in British Columbia, current WorkSafeBC regulations and the legal responsibilities that they place on employers across the province.
  • The proactive steps that those in the tourism and hospitality industry can take to minimize and mitigate risks and hazards that their staff are exposed to, with a focus on issues surrounding physical distancing policies and the wearing of face masks.
  • The role and legal responsibilities of employees, front-line supervisors and managers will be examined.
  • Risk assessing using traditional methods and recent advances in ‘Visual Literacy’ will be explored, as well as a discussion on preventative and best-practice training methods.
  • The 5 Myths regarding Workplace Conflict
  • 5 things that managers and supervisors can do right now to support their staff when they are faced with COVID-19 related aggression
  • Verbal Judo: A proven de-escalation technique

Watch the recording here.

ABLE BC Advocacy Update: Expanded patio permissions

As you may know, several temporary liquor policies are currently set to expire in October, including:

  • 20-13: Temporary Expanded Service Area Authorization
  • 20-19: Sale and delivery of packaged liquor for off-site consumption with the purchase of a meal for takeout or delivery

ABLE BC and our industry partners are in active conversation with government to extend these policies.

Recently, ABLE BC, the BCRFA, and BC Craft Brewers Guild wrote to all municipalities in the province, requesting councils’ support for expanded patio permissions.

Specifically, we requested that councils consider:

  • Expediting applications for businesses to winterize patios in public and private spaces to provide operators with the opportunity to capitalize on the confidence of outdoor space
  • Approving temporary patios for Summer 2021 now so operations can plan ahead
  • Creating a program for designated pickup zones so that businesses can enhance contactless curbside pickup in the fall and winter months

Download a copy of our letter here

We strongly encourage you to contact your City Council and voice your support for this issue. 

We have already received positive responses from some municipalities. Nothing has been extended yet, but we hope to have updates for you soon.

Read more about ABLE BC’s advocacy work during COVID-19: download our COVID-19 advocacy report.

BC Provincial State of Emergency Extended

On September 1, the BC government formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province’s COVID-19 pandemic response.

Read the full news release here.

On August 21, police and other provincial enforcement officers were given the ability to issue $2,000 violation tickets for owners or organizers contravening the provincial health officer’s (PHO) order on gatherings and events. 

For individuals, $200 violation tickets can be issued to those not following the direction of police or enforcement staff at events, or who refuse to comply with requests to follow safe operating procedures of a restaurant, bar or other licensed establishment, or respond with abusive behaviour towards employees. 

In the first week of these new enforcement measures (August 21-28), government reported that 10 violation tickets were issued. This includes six $2,000 violation tickets for contraventions of the PHO’s order on gatherings and events, and four $200 violation tickets issued to individuals.

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on September 15, 2020, to allow government to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns, such as recent outbreaks in some areas of the province.

Canada Emergency Business Account Extended

The Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) has been extended to October 31, 2020, making the program accessible longer to Canadians. 

If you have already applied for CEBA and have questions, please contact the new CEBA Call Centre at 1-888-324-4201 to receive a status update on your CEBA application. The CEBA call centre is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm EST.

About CEBA

Originally launched on April 9, 2020, CEBA is intended to support businesses by providing financing for their expenses that cannot be avoided or deferred as they take steps to safely navigate a period of shutdown, thereby helping to position businesses for successful relaunch when the economy reopens.

This $55 billion program provides interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to small businesses and not-for-profits. Repaying the balance of the loan on or before December 31, 2022 will result in loan forgiveness of 25 percent (up to $10,000).

As of June 26, 2020, businesses eligible for CEBA now include owner-operated small businesses that do not have a payroll, sole proprietors receiving business income directly, as well as family-owned corporations remunerating in the form of dividends rather than payroll. This means that more small businesses can access it.

For more information, please visit the CEBA website.

Gathering and Events Guidance

The BCHA has developed a new Gathering & Events Guide, in consultation with the Ministry of Health, to help clarify what’s acceptable around hosting meetings and events within hotels.

Download the guide here.

Best Practices for Gathering & Events Communication: 

  • Communicate from the beginning of the event sales cycle. Develop a high-level event guide for your prospective clients and get progressively more detailed as you move the client through the process. Include information on what the client can expect during site inspections, in your contract and on BEO’s. Support everything with signage during the event.
  • Develop an internal guideline to events inside your building. Include your entire team in the plan and help them understand why it is so important to familiarize themselves with the protocols. Use the links to the Public Health Orders and the FAQ below. Help them understand the “why’s” and “why not’s” of the procedures.
  • The final communication piece is with the client. Build some extra time into your workflow to ensure the client is on the same page with hotel. We all have a greater responsibility to each other in this day and age and the client is no different.

Over Arching Event Principles

Focus all of your planning and communication around these principles:

  • 50 guests maximum. Employees and vendors are not included in this count.
  • Contact tracing procedures are mandatory.
  • Physical distancing at all times.
  • Masks should be worn when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Use barriers or protective equipment wherever possible. 

For more tips, download the guide here.

Save the date: 2020 Virtual BC Liquor Conference

The BC Liquor Conference is back for a fifth year this fall and we’re going virtual.

Save the Date: this year’s conference will take place on Monday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 20, 2020 via our online platform. Registration opens in September. Stay tuned!

No matter where you are in the province – tune in and get the liquor industry data, trends, and policy updates you can’t get anywhere else. 

Conference Theme: adapt and survive COVID-19

This year has been unbelievably challenging for many businesses. BC’s hospitality industry was hit first – and hit hardest – by the COVID-19 pandemic. The liquor industry has been forced to adapt, adopt new technologies, and drastically change in this new normal, while complying with new regulations.

Unfortunately, this crisis is far from over. But together, we will weather this storm. Join us at the 2020 Virtual BC Liquor Conference and get the actionable steps and knowledge you need to adapt and survive COVID-19.

What to expect:  

  • Online educational seminars and keynote talks
  • Industry data, trends, and policy updates
  • Actionable steps and knowledge you need to adapt and survive COVID-19
  • Access to government and industry experts
  • Virtual networking opportunities
  • Opportunity to connect and share ideas and best practices with fellow industry leaders

Registration opening soon. Stay tuned!

Province confirms tax measure implementation dates, deferral deadlines for businesses

The Province is delaying implementation dates to April 2021 for changes to provincial sales tax (PST) and BC’s carbon tax, to help businesses and families through the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.

The implementation of two other planned tax changes is also being delayed until April 2021. This includes the elimination of the PST exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners or artificial sweeteners, and the addition of new PST registration and collection requirements for e-commerce businesses located outside BC.

To further support businesses, the employer health tax (EHT) 2020 quarterly instalment dates are being extended as follows:

  • December 31, 2020 (original installment date was June 15, 2020)
  • January 31, 2021 (original installment date was September 15, 2020)
  • February 28, 2021 (original installment date was December 15, 2020)

These extensions will give businesses more access to cash flow during recovery and more time to determine their annual payroll and estimate the amount of EHT they will owe. The 2020 EHT filing and balance due date will remain March 31, 2021.

As a reminder for businesses, effective March 23, 2020, as part of BC’s COVID-19 Action Plan, the filing and payment due dates for the following sales taxes were extended to September 30, 2020, along with the 2019 EHT filing and balance due date:

  • PST
  • hotel tax, also known as municipal and regional district tax
  • tobacco tax
  • motor fuel tax
  • carbon tax

These administrative deferrals are not being extended further. Businesses were never able to spend taxes collected from customers such as PST, but delaying tax remittances removed an administrative burden from potentially short-staffed businesses during the beginning of the pandemic.

For more information:


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