Fancy a shave and scotch? How about a mani-pedi-champagne? New policy changes from the Province will allow all types of B.C. businesses to apply for a liquor licence, opening up possibilities for new revenue streams and diversified business services.
Effective Jan. 23, 2017, businesses like barber shops, salons, spas, cooking schools, art galleries and book stores will be able to apply for a liquor licence to diversify their business model and serve liquor to customers. All types of businesses will be able to apply for a liquor primary licence, so long as they do not operate from a motor vehicle or target minors. This change will provide flexibility for businesses to expand and offer new services to their patrons, while creating new opportunities for manufacturers such as craft breweries and wineries to sell their product, and increase consumer choice for British Columbians.
To ensure that public health and safety remains a top priority, businesses will have to go through the same licensing processes as other establishments, including a requirement that all staff serving liquor are ‘Serving-It-Right’ certified. These businesses will also be subject to the same regulatory compliance measures as all licensees. The requirement that businesses applying for a liquor primary licence must also abide by their local government’s or First Nations’ liquor licensing criteria will remain unchanged.
The new policy builds on recent changes announced by the Province that allow for-profit businesses to apply for Special Event Permits, which were previously reserved for individuals and not-for-profit organizations.
Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch –
“One of government’s goals is to ensure that doing business in B.C. is easy and exciting. Creating new liquor licence and permit options for businesses is part of our ongoing effort to remove operating obstacles for businesses, create ease of access for consumers, and still maintain B.C.’s health and safety standards.”
John Yap, Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Policy Reform –
“Since 2013, we have been working to modernize antiquated liquor laws. We want the rules to complement businesses, not hinder them. We want to bolster creativity and innovation, not create barriers and red tape. Allowing all types of businesses to apply for a liquor licence creates other business possibilities for B.C. businesses.”
Mayor of Victoria Lisa Helps –
“Simple changes like this make space for growth and ingenuity for Victoria businesses. The City of Victoria will continue to work with the Province to support common sense liquor laws and sensible regulation while stripping away the unnecessary hurdles for our businesses. Victoria is an exciting place for business owners to operate and we hope this change will bring them more options and opportunities.”
Matthew Conrad, owner and barber, Victory Barber & Brand –
“We have been waiting for this change since we opened in 2011. The simple act of serving spirits or a local craft beer with our services will be an added luxury for our clientele. But what is truly exciting, is it allows businesses like mine to break out of the restrictive mould of the commonly expected business model. We can now try something different and new. We can now join the ranks of similar businesses around the world that have long had this kind of added service as an option.”
Matt Phillips, founder, Phillips Brewing & Malting Co. –
“One of the most exciting things about craft beer is the diversity of styles and flavours B.C. brewers are producing. We are excited that there will now be an equal diversity in places where consumers can enjoy our beers. It's natural that this will support local craft brewers and, in turn, continue to help create a thriving craft beer industry in B.C.”
- B.C.’s Liquor Policy Review makes 73 common-sense recommendations to change B.C.’s liquor laws so that they reflect current lifestyles, encourage the growth of small businesses and the province’s economy, address calls for consumer convenience and continue to safeguard health and public safety.
- This change will implement recommendation 38 of the Liquor Policy Review.
- To date, 48 of the 73 Liquor Policy Review recommendations have been implemented. Work to continue implementing additional recommendations is ongoing.
- Over one-quarter of the Liquor Policy Review recommendations currently being implemented by the Province focus on health, safety and social responsibility.
For more information about the Liquor Policy Review: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/impact/bc-liquor-policy-review-results/