Alcohol may be on the menu for more businesses in B.C.

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Victoria: 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.”