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The BC government has just approved new wholesale pricing to allow restaurants and bars to purchase alcohol at reduced cost.
Jun 17, 2020 - EightSix Staff
The BC government has just approved a wholesale pricing model that will allow restaurants, bars and pubs to purchase wine, beer and spirits from the Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) at reduced cost, starting in July 2020.
This is a huge win for the hospitality industry which has been calling for this legislation for many years.
It may surprise many to learn that hospitality licensees - restaurants, bars, pubs, tourism operators - pay the same prices for liquor as the general public. This full retail price includes a wholesale price plus a retail markup, which is decided by the LDB.
Under this new model, those businesses with liquor licences will only pay the wholesale price on the products they order, which could represent significant savings for low margin hospitality businesses.
The hospitality industry has been the hardest hit industry due to the complete shutdown needed to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Many businesses have already closed their doors for good, not able to continue paying the high operating costs to keep their business afloat without any revenue coming in.
“Offering a wholesale discount for licensees was something we were exploring before COVID-19, but after the onset of the pandemic we accelerated efforts in order to support these community businesses as they try to find their feet,” said David Eby, Attorney General.
The hospitality industry is one of the major drivers of the BC economy, employing more than 190,000 people, making it one of the largest employers in the province. “This change recognizes the restaurant sector’s important role in supporting tourism activity throughout the province,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
It's not all good news though as the new model is only temporarily in place until March 31, 2021 when the program will be reviewed. However, you can be sure that industry associations, including Restaurants Canada and the British Columbia Restaurant and Foodservice Association, are already preparing to ensure this legislation becomes permanent.
Read full story: BC restaurants and bars can soon buy alcohol for less - Published Jun 16, 2020 on BC Gov News
Provided patrons can still maintain two metres apart, restaurants may now allow more than 50% of their pre-COVID capacity.
The eight week extension of the program will provide much-needed relief to those who lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
Resorts, hotels, theatres, and the film industry may reopen while following WorkSaveBC guidelines.