Canadian Manufacturing

B.C. to cut retail liquor mark up to help hospitality sector’s COVID 19 recovery

The program is set to begin at the end of next month

June 17, 2020  The Canadian Press

VICTORIA — British Columbia is planning to expand measures to support restaurants, bars and tourism operations hard hit by COVID-19 restrictions.

The Ministry of Attorney General says a temporary wholesale pricing program will mean liquor licence holders can purchase beer, wine and spirits at reduced cost.

The program is set to begin at the end of next month and be in place until March 31, when it will be reviewed.

Restaurants, bars and pubs currently pay for liquor purchases at full retail price, which is the wholesale price, plus a retail markup set by the ministry’s liquor distribution branch.

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The new system will eliminate the retail mark-up.

The ministry says in a statement that it is also working on several proposals from a separate report, including creating a new rural liquor licence regulated by its liquor and cannabis regulation branch later this year.

Attorney General David Eby says changing the pricing system for liquor sales will help the hospitality industry, which has been one of B.C.’s hardest hit sectors, affecting as many as 190,000 jobs.

“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,” he says in the statement.