Ontario is reducing LCBO wholesale prices for bars and restaurants, allowing curbside pickup of beer, wine and cider at licensed grocery stores, and freezing the base tax rate on beer.
“The government is supporting bars, restaurants and other licensed businesses to operate a liquor store by reducing the wholesale prices of the alcohol they purchase from the LCBO, which allows these companies save 20% over retail prices, ”according to a press release. “This change will provide approximately $ 60 million in annual support to restaurants, bars and other businesses.”
“A permanent wholesale rebate will put about $ 60 million a year back into these important companies, so they can invest in themselves and their workers,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance.
The government also froze the base beer tax rates that were to be indexed to inflation on March 1, 2022 to help beer and craft beer brewers recover and grow, and to save money. money to consumers. Basic beer tax rates are prescribed amounts of tax added to beer sold in Ontario. The prices are adjusted annually according to the consumer price index. The government is freezing beer tax rates until March 1, 2023.
“Making it easier for businesses to create and expand terraces, enabling the sale of alcohol with take-out food, and enabling the sale of local beer at farmers’ markets are examples of the innovative measures we are taking to support local businesses. local liquor producers and over 18,000 bars and restaurants, ”said Doug Downey, Attorney General.
Highlights of the new legal framework for the sale, service and delivery of alcoholic beverages include:
- Allow licensed grocery stores to offer curbside pickup of beer, wine and cider
- Streamline licensing and renewals for businesses with a single primary license with endorsements for additional businesses, such as on-site retail stores or breweries
- Increased flexibility of grocers to promote beer, cider and wine with alcohol-free products
- Improve social accountability in Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Registrar’s standards by requiring people who sell, serve or handle alcohol recertify their Smart Serve training
- Make permanent the extension of retail hours from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. for alcohol that was put in place in March 2020 in response to COVID-19.