Province Allows Restaurants, Bars to Buy Alcohol at Wholesale Prices

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VANCOUVER — The B.C. government has announced it will permanently allow restaurants, bars and tourism operators to buy liquor at wholesale prices.

Restaurants, pubs and tourism businesses with liquor licenses have historically paid full retail price (the wholesale price, plus a markup set by the government) on most alcohol purchases, but in June, the provincial government made temporary changes that allowed these establishments to buy alcohol at the same price as liquor stores. This week’s announcement has now made that decision permanent.

In a news release, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said the government is making the change permanent to give businesses certainty and to help the estimated 190,000 residents who work in the sector.

Restaurants Canada released a statement noting the move fulfils a long-standing recommendation from the industry group and it thanked the B.C. government for levelling the playing field between the province’s retail and hospitality sectors.

“This move will go a long way to help British Columbia’s hard-hit restaurant sector transition from survival to revival,” said Mark von Schellwitz, vice-president for Western Canada.

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