The government changes that allowed restaurants, bars, and tourism operators with liquor licenses to purchase liquor at wholesale prices are now permanent.
The province introduced a wholesale pricing model in June of last year in an effort to help ease costs for the hospitality industry, who has been hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
Wholesale prices allow restaurants and bars to purchase their liquor at the same cost paid by the government and private liquor stores in the province.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, restaurants, bars and tourism operators had to pay full retail price – the same price British Columbians would pay.
“Now we are making this change permanent to give these businesses certainty and help them recover, and to help the estimated 190,000 British Columbians who work in this sector,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, in a statement from the BC government this morning, February 23rd.
Prices set by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) have been available for the hospitality since June 2020 and were set to expire March 31, 2021.
Other changes include temporary measures such as extending operating hours of retail liquor stores and permitting sealed and packaged liquor deliveries alongside the purchase of a meal.
“This is welcome news, as access to wholesale pricing on a permanent basis will help alleviate some of the financial pressures faced by industry due to the pandemic,” said Trevor Kallies, director of beverage, Donnelly Group. “Business owners can now move forward with a focus on other areas, such as the health and safety of staff and customers, and keeping our businesses alive.”
Since the pandemic began, the hospitality industry has taken a big hit – having to maintain physical distancing by limiting capacity and suspending events.