Wholesale liquor pricing for restaurants, tourism businesses takes effect
Measures enacted by the Province in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that temporarily allow restaurants and pubs to purchase beer, wine and spirits at wholesale cost instead of liquor store retail prices came into effect on Monday, July 20, 2020.
“COVID-19 has been devastating for hospitality and tourism business owners, employees and their families throughout our province,” said David Eby, Attorney General. “We hope that the financial support that this change represents means the 8,500 restaurants and pubs that employ more than 190,000 British Columbians are able to survive this pandemic and be ready to thrive post-COVID.”
Hospitality customers who have registered with the Province’s Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) can now use a searchable hospitality price list to help with their buying decisions. A complete online hospitality product catalogue will launch Sept. 1, 2020.
The temporary authorization will remain in effect until March 31, 2021. A provincial review of the program during this temporary reform will help government determine the financial costs and benefits of the change.
“The pandemic has required businesses to innovate in ways they never could have predicted, and it’s important that government is also flexible,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “The hospitality sector asked for these changes and we acted quickly in order to protect jobs and help businesses stay afloat.”
Previously, hospitality licensees – including restaurants, pubs and tourism operators with liquor licences – paid full retail price (wholesale price, plus a retail mark-up set by the LDB) on most liquor purchases. The new model allows licensees to pay the wholesale price for the products they purchase, which is the same cost paid by government and private liquor stores in the province when they purchase stock for retail sale.
Tourism sector asks B.C. government for $680M stimulus package
By Richard Zussman, Global News
British Columbia’s hard-hit tourism industry is asking for a major bailout.
A coalition representing British Columbia’s more than 19,000 tourism and hospitality businesses has presented the B.C. government with a recovery stimulus proposal that would see the government put forward $680 million from its $1.5-billion recovery package towards the sector.
The funding would help the tourism industry, which has been impacted by severe travel restrictions during the COVID-19 crisis,including the closure of the US-Canada border to all but essential travel.
“Unfortunately, as the only industry almost entirely based on the discretionary movement of people, the tourism and hospitality sector has been the most severely impacted by far by COVID-19 due to business closure orders and restrictions on personal travel, as well as the closure of international borders,” reads a statement issued by the Tourism Industry Association of BC (TIABC).
“Virtually the entire sector was shut down resulting in extensive layoffs, with many businesses having closed without the cash flow to reopen, and thousands more desperately trying to maintain solvency.”
In 2018, B.C.’s tourism sector generated $4.5 billion in direct tax revenues from $20.4 billion in direct visitor spending. The industry accounts for more than 300,000 workers.
The tourism sector’s long-term economic outlook is “the bleakest for any industry,” according to the TIABC.
The British Columbia Economic Development Association (BCEDA) is focused on supporting communities and their economic recovery post-COVID. The pandemic has provided an opportunity for the development of new course material as economies face increasingly unprecedented challenges like never before. It is a crucial time for communities to understand and respond to the need for growing strong local economies. BCEDA is the most experienced organization in British Columbia on issues related to economic recovery. In 2012, the British Columbia Economic Development Association established the Economic Disaster Recovery Program following the Burns Lake Mill Explosion. Following this work, BCEDA was asked to assist the International Economic Development Council and the US Department of Commerce in refining the US Economic Recovery Framework. Since then, BCEDA has participated in economic disaster recovery worldwide - 2013 Southern Alberta floods, 2017/18 BC wildfires, US Virgins Islands, Flin Flon, MB, Grand Forks, BC, and the US Mariana Islands. While each disaster is unique, the basics are the same. Residents, businesses and communities are impacted, and require support to help them recover. Programs must be developed to meet the immediate needs of the community. One program does not necessarily work in every jurisdiction of the province. BCEDA has developed workshops to help communities be better prepared to overcome the economic impacts of disasters. The suite of workshops that BCEDA has developed are designed for economic development professionals and elected leaders in local, regional and Indigenous communities.
Business Engagement in a Post-COVID19 Environment
Investment Attraction in a Post-COVID19 Environment
Economic Development for Local Leaders
Making Economic Resiliency and Recovery the New Norm
13 Things you Need to Know for Successful Economic Development
Training can be delivered virtually or in-person, adhering to social distancing measures with under 50 capacity.
The launch of these new workshops is just another step that BCEDA is taking to help communities and businesses overcome the challenges faced by COVID19. Since March 12th, BCEDA has been offering regular email bulletins, hosting webinars, working with communities, and providing business resources including assisting in the expansion of Support Local BC, BC BusinessCounts, and more at https://www.bceda.ca/coronavirus.php.
Harnessing the Power of Collaboration: Support Local BC
Thursday, July 23, 10 am - 11 am PST
While COVID-19 was keeping people apart, amazing collaboration was happening to support the businesses and individuals being impacted. Join this webinar to hear about one such collaboration, Support Local BC, that brought together economic developers around the province and provided a way for closed businesses to continue to have cash flow. Hear from Michèle Hamilton, the inspiration behind Support Local BC, on how the initiative has evolved in the last three months and the role collaboration continues to play in its success. Learn how Prince Rupert and Opa Sushi got the community excited and supporting local in their community. Support Local BC was born out of one person‘s desire to support small, local businesses, through the selling of online gift certificates, as they closed their doors to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The initiative started in March 2020, as a Shopify website for one community and in a few short months it has grown to a provincial resource. Support Local BC is now used by over 64 communities and 1179 businesses and has sold over $78,000 in gift certificates. Find out how your community can become part of Support Local BC and share your thoughts on how it can continue to provide value as the province shifts to COVID-19 Recovery.
B.C.’s Venture Capital Tax Credit Program – Helping Small Businesses Raise Investment Capital
Thursday, August 20, 10 am - 11 am PST
B.C.’s Venture Capital Tax Credit program helps small businesses raise capital by providing investors with a 30% tax credit on the value of their investment. Businesses registered in the program have a range of activities, including: manufacturing and processing; research and development of proprietary technology; destination tourism; interactive digital media; clean technology, and advanced commercialization. The way the program works:
Businesses must meet qualifying criteria and be registered with the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness.
Once registered, businesses can sell shares to B.C. resident investors – usually accredited investors or friends, family and business associates - who are then eligible to receive a 30% tax credit on their investment.
Join a webinar that explains how the Venture Capital Tax Credit program works. You’ll learn about eligibility requirements and how businesses can register, and you’ll hear from Vancouver Island-based Cascadia Seaweed Corp – that has successfully raised over $400,000 under the program, and is planning another round of financing to help expand its operations.
In 2019 the program helped over 230 B.C. businesses raise over $115 million in investment, and the Province issued $34.5 million in tax credits to investors.