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

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

Patrons sit between plexiglass barriers on the patio of a restaurant and bar in Vancouver, on May 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
June 16, 2020 - 12:56 PM

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.

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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2020

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020
The Canadian Press

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