The provincial government is amending the Liquor Licensing Regulations to help the restaurant and bar industry. Restaurants and bars may now include cocktails and mixed drinks for delivery or take-out with food orders while the state of emergency order is in effect.
Among the changes, restaurants and bars may expand the list of alcoholic beverages allowed with food orders to include manufactured ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages such as coolers, and increase the value of a bottle of wine allowed with a home delivery to more than three times the cost of the food order to allow higher-end wines to be sold with food purchases.
The provincial government has renewed the Explore NB Travel Incentive Program for 2021.
The program offers a 20 percent rebate on eligible expenses up to $1,000 for New Brunswickers taking a vacation that includes a paid overnight stay in the province.
Eligible expenses include accommodations at hotels, motels, inns, B&Bs and campsites, food and drink at restaurants and food trucks, entrance fees to attractions, museums, art galleries, cultural events and outdoor adventure activities, and fees for vehicle rentals, ferries and parking.
The program will run from May 27 to October 31. Applications can be submitted from July 5 to November 30.
The provincial government is investing $1.25 million through Destination Northern Ontario to provide 300 people with free training to work in Northern Ontario’s tourism industry. The project will benefit people who have lost their jobs because of COVID-19.
Participants will get training for positions like customer service, front desk reception, guest services and housekeeping, as well as training in COVID-19-safe operating protocols, the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System, and service excellence.
At least 150 employers, mostly rural tourism operators, will be involved in hiring new workers to meet the expected demand. Employers will be reimbursed 30 percent of wages, up to $3,000 per worker hired.
Applications for the spring 2021 payment from Alberta’s small business grant will now be accepted until June 30.
The Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant (SMERG) offers financial assistance to Alberta businesses, cooperatives, and non-profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees that have faced restrictions or closures due to COVID-related public health orders, and have experienced revenue losses of at least 30 percent.
Eligible organizations will receive a payment of up to $10,000.
The provincial government is allowing accommodation providers to keep the tourism levy amounts collected between April 1 and June 30.
This three-month extension of the abatement period, which originally ended March 31, will free up some $8 million in cash flow for the tourism sector to employ staff, continue operations and provide valuable services.
Providers that have already remitted tourism levy amounts collected on or after April 1 will receive a refund from Alberta’s Tax and Revenue Administration.
Businesses will be expected to resume regular tourism levy payments on amounts collected on or after July 1.
The provincial government is launching a COVID-19 safety certificate program, called BSAFE, for workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors.
The government has allocated $640,000 to develop the program and provide training for workers. Participating organizations will receive a decal making it easy for clients to confirm that staff have taken BSAFE training.
BSAFE was specifically designed for the tourism and hospitality industry but is open to all B.C. businesses.