E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: Canada, ON: Ontario cutting LCO wholesale prices for bars and restaurants, freezing the basic beer tax rate

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E-Malt.com News article: Canada, ON: Ontario cutting LCO wholesale prices for bars and restaurants, freezing the basic beer tax rate
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Ontario is cutting LCBO wholesale prices for bars and restaurants, enabling curbside pickup of beer, wine and cider from licensed grocery stores, and freezing the basic beer tax rate, Baytoday reported on December 15.

"The government is supporting bars, restaurants and other businesses with a licence to operate a liquor consumption premises by cutting wholesale prices for the alcohol they purchase from the LCBO, saving these businesses an effective 20 per cent when compared to retail prices," according to a news release. "This change will provide approximately C$60 million in annual support to restaurants, bars and other businesses."

“A permanent wholesale discount will put about $60 million a year back into these important businesses, so they can invest in themselves and their workers,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance.

The government has also frozen the basic beer tax rates that were set to be indexed to inflation on March 1, 2022 to support beer and craft beer brewers to recover and grow, and to save consumers money. The beer basic tax rates are prescribed amounts of tax added to beer sold in Ontario. The rates adjust annually based on the Consumer Price Index. The government is freezing the beer tax rates until March 1, 2023.

“Making it easier for businesses to create and extend patios, permitting the sale of alcohol with food takeout and allowing local beer sales at farmers’ markets are examples of the ground-breaking actions we are taking to support local alcohol producers and the province’s more than 18,000 bars and restaurants,” said Doug Downey, Attorney General.

Highlights of the new legal framework for the sale, service and delivery of beverage alcohol include:

• Allowing licensed grocery stores to offer curbside pickup of beer, wine and cider
• Streamlining licensing and renewals for businesses through a single primary licence with endorsements for additional activities, such as on-site retail stores or brew pubs
• Increasing flexibility for grocers to cross-promote beer, cider and wine with non-alcohol products
• Enhancing social responsibility in the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s Registrar’s Standards by requiring individuals who sell, serve or handle alcohol to recertify their Smart Serve training
• Making permanent the extension of retail sale hours to 7 am to 11 pm for alcohol that was put in place in March 2020 in response to COVID-19.

16 December, 2021

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