October 09, 2020

Dear ABLE BC members and industry colleagues,

It has been an eventful day and we appreciate you taking the time to read our third email update of the day.

Read today’s other updates: 

This afternoon, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry released updated public orders: 

While we’re continuing to work to get the hours of liquor service extended past 10:00 pm, we are pleased to share that liquor service can now resume at 9:00 am the next day, versus 11:00 am.

More details on the orders can be found below.

The federal government also announced their intention to introduce new targeted, support to help businesses through the pandemic:

  • New Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
  • Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021
  • Expanded Canada Emergency Business Account 

More details on these programs can be found below.

Applications are also open for the provincial Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant.

We hope that’s it for today! On behalf of ABLE BC’s Board of Directors and staff, we wish you and your family a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. As always, if you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us: info@ablebc.ca.

Updated Provincial Health Officer Public Orders

Today, the Provincial Health Officer updated the following public orders:

Food and Liquor Serving Premises 
The public order is addressed to: owners, operators, and patrons of restaurants, coffee shops, cafes, cafeterias, and food primary and liquor primary establishments, including pubs, bars, lounges and nightclubs, liquor manufacturing facilities that have tasting rooms and private clubs.

This order does not apply to events as defined in the Gatherings and Events Order, or to meetings or conferences held in hotels or anywhere else.

This order repeals and replaces the order made on September 18, 2020.

Key Changes in the Order:

  • The public order is now addressed to patrons, in addition to owners and operators. NEW: Patrons must not be present in premises operating as a nightclub. Patrons must also comply with the distancing and other requirements in the public order, and with measures, guidance, and directions from owners, operators, or staff, designed to avoid the congregation of patrons.
  • In licensed premises, other than cafeterias, private clubs or tasting rooms with a liquor manufacturer licence, patrons must be assigned to a table, booth or counter and shown to their seats. NEW: Patrons must stay in the seat assigned to them and must not move from table to table. 
  • Unless a full meal service is provided, premises which are licensed to serve liquor must close by 11:00 pm and all patrons must vacate the premises. NEW: If a full meal service is provided, premises may stay open, but liquor service must not resume until 9:00 am. 

Also, as a reminder:

  • Owners and operators of liquor primaries operating as nightclubs must cease operating as a nightclub. NEW: The new public order defines nightclubs as “a liquor primary establishment at which the main activities are selling liquor and providing music to which patrons can dance.”
  • Liquor sales for onsite consumption must cease by 10:00 pm.
  • Background music and any other background sounds, such as from televisions or other electronic sound producing devices, must be no louder than the volume of normal conversation.

For more information, please read the Food and Liquor Serving Premises public order.

Gatherings and Events

The public order is addressed to: 

  • Owners and operators of banquet halls
  • Owners and operators of vacation accommodation
  • Occupants of vacation accommodation and guests
  • Owners and operators of places, including premises subject to the food and liquor serving premises order
  • Persons who organize events
  • Persons who attend events

For further certainty, this order applies to private clubs and meetings or conferences held in hotels or any other place.

This order repeals and replaces the order made on September 18, 2020.

Key Changes in the Order:

  • The updated order clarifies who the public order is addressed to and now clearly includes patrons as well as licensees.
  • The order separates conditions for places not subject to the Food and Liquor Serving Premises order, and places that are subject to the order.
  • Patrons must comply with:
    • The limitation on the number of patrons permitted to gather (50 patrons)
    • The distancing and other requirements in sections 5, 10, and 11 of the public order
    • Measures, and guidance and directions from owners, operators, organizers, or staff designed to avoid the gathering of more than the permitted number of patrons or the congregation of patrons
  • The gathering of more than 50 patrons at a place which is subject to the Food and Liquor Serving Premises Order for the purpose of an event is prohibited. NEW: 
    • Subject to a maximum number of fifty patrons, the owner of food and liquor serving premises in which events are hosted must calculate the maximum number of patrons who can be accommodated safely during an event, taking into consideration the requirements of this order and must document this number in the safety plan with respect to events.
    • The organizer must monitor the number of patrons present during an event and ensure that the number of patrons present does not exceed the maximum number documented in the safety plan with respect to events.
  • The order clarifies that all rules to apply to Food and Liquor Serving Premises, also apply to events hosted in the space. See pages 7-10.

Also, as a reminder:

  • The holding of an event in a banquet hall is prohibited.
  • In places other than banquet halls:
    • The gathering of more than fifty patrons at a place for the purpose of an event is prohibited.
    • Liquor service must stop at 10:00 pm.

For full event and gathering conditions, please read the public order.

New Legislation for Federal Government Support Programs

Today, the federal government announced their intention to introduce new targeted, support to help businesses through the pandemic:

  • New Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy
  • Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021
  • Expanded Canada Emergency Business Account 

Note: the government plans to introduce legislation to provide this support; the programs have not yet been confirmed.

New Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy

The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy would provide simple and easy-to-access rent and mortgage support until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. 

The rent subsidy would be provided directly to tenants, while also providing support to property owners. Read more.

Extension of the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy until June 2021

The subsidy would remain at the current subsidy rate of up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible wages until December 19, 2020. Read more.

Expanded Canada Emergency Business Account

Enable businesses, and not-for-profits eligible for CEBA loans – and that continue to be seriously impacted by the pandemic – to access an interest-free loan of up to $20,000, in addition to the original CEBA loan of $40,000. Read more.

Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant

Applications are now open for the BC Government Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant. The grant is part of BC Economic Recovery Plan, announced earlier this fall.

How the program works:

The Small and Medium-Sized Business Recovery Grant program will invest up to $300 million in targeted financial support for some of the hardest hit businesses in BC that employ between two and 149 BC residents and have experienced declines in revenue since March 10, 2020.

Grants of $10,000 to $30,000 are available. An additional $5,000 to $10,000 grant is available to eligible tourism-related businesses that have been hit especially hard by COVID-19.

The program runs until March 31, 2021 or until the funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first.

Tourism-related businesses can qualify to receive up to an additional $10,000 grant if they meet all the general eligibility criteria and the tourism grant eligibility criteria.

Determine your eligibility and apply for the grant here.


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