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Province hopes to help hospitality sector with permanent wholesale liquor pricing

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 12:03 PST, Tue February 23, 2021

Changes to allow restaurants, bars and tourism operators with liquor licences to purchase beer, wine and spirits at the wholesale price set by the BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) are now in place permanently.

"As the sector continues to pivot and adapt to meet customers' needs, this measure will better position business owners to regain stability as they navigate through the pandemic to economic recovery,” said Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon.

Temporary changes to allow for wholesale pricing for the hospitality industry were implemented June 2020 and set to expire March 31, 2021. Before that, hospitality licensees—including restaurants, pubs and tourism operators with liquor licences - paid full retail price (wholesale price, plus a retail markup set by the LDB) on most liquor purchases.

These changes permanently allow 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.

"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."

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