December 22, 2020

Dear ABLE BC Members and Industry Colleagues,

As British Columbians are celebrating a very different holiday season this year, our government partners have this week made three significant announcements aimed at helping many of your businesses. Read below for details on:

  • a NEW 15% cap on food delivery fees
  • NEW changes to small business recovery grants that will now enable many of you to apply
  • over $100 million of NEW funding for BC’s hard-hit tourism businesses.

If you have any additional questions or need to reach us you can contact Executive Director Jeff Guignard at jeff@ablebc.ca or (604) 499-2566.

Fees capped for food delivery services

Today, Ministers Mike Farnworth (Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General) and Ravi Kahlon (Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation) announced a 15% cap on food delivery fees with a 5% fee cap on additional fees like online ordering and processing fees. The secondary cap is designed to ensure that companies cannot shift their delivery costs to other fees.

To do this, the Government of BC is enacting the Emergency Program Act (EPA) which sets these limits until three months after the provincial state of emergency has been lifted. The order comes into effect on December 27.

For months, ABLE BC has been working alongside industry partner such as the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association to help tackle the significant impact delivery fees have on your bottom line. We are immensely grateful to our government partners for listening to the needs of our industry, and enacting this critical cap before the New Year.

You can find further details of the announcement here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020PSSG0074-002133

Grant program now accessible to more BC businesses

As ongoing pandemic restrictions continue to undermine the profitability of BC’s hospitality industry, we are immensely grateful that our government partners have expanded the eligibility criteria for Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant Program.

Immediately after the grant program was announced, ABLE BC and industry partners such as TIABC, BCHA, and Restaurants Canada requested several logical and necessary changes to ensure our members would be able to access urgently needed funds. Government has clearly heard our concerns and have responded with very positive changes. 

In addition to changing the required minimum revenue drop of 50% to a drop of 30%, the new criteria also reduces the previous three-year operation requirement to 18 months. This means businesses only need to have been in operation nine months before the pandemic to apply for the grant.

Vitally important for ABLE BC’s nightclub-LP members, the new criteria specifically includes businesses closed by public health orders.

Additional adjustments include a streamlined application process and simplified criteria, and applications may now be submitted by sole proprietors.

The revised application process and eligibility criteria are now in place. Small- and medium-sized businesses are encouraged to apply online: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/economic-recovery/business-recovery-grant

Read the full story at:news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020JERI0044-002118

BC commits $105 million to support tourism sector

The Government of British Columbia is responding to the recommendations of the Tourism Task Force by creating a dedicated relief funding stream to quickly support people and businesses in B.C.’s tourism sector.

Within days of receiving the final report, the Province acted on the task force’s recommendations by committing $100 million in dedicated relief funding for the tourism sector. In addition, the Province is also allocating $5 million to Indigenous Tourism BC to administer relief grant funding targeted for Indigenous businesses.

Government has simplified the application process and streamlined the criteria, making it easier for all businesses to qualify for grants, particularly those in the hard-hit tourism sector. Tourism businesses will now be eligible for up to $45,000, an increase compared to the previous maximum of $40,000, due to a boost in the additional funds now available to help the sector recover.

You can find full details here: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020TACS0069-002127


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