TORONTO — As of Jan. 1, 2022, bars and restaurants in Ontario will be able to purchase alcohol from the LCBO at wholesale prices. Wholesale purchases from the LCBO will save businesses 20 per cent when compared to retail prices, according to the government. This change will provide approximately $60 million in annual support for the sector.
“Our government knows that local restaurants and bars across Ontario have done their part to keep people safe by following public health measures. We’ve committed to helping these businesses, and that’s exactly what we’re doing today,” said Peter Bethlenfalvy, Minister of Finance at a press conference on Wednesday. “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.”
Wholesale liquor pricing has been a long-time ask from Ontario’s hospitality sector, so the announcement is welcome news for those working in the industry.
“On behalf of Ontario’s hospitality industry, we at ORHMA greatly applaud the Ford Government for listening and supporting our urgent need for financial assistance by reducing the price of beverage alcohol at the LCBO,” says Tony Elenis, president and CEO of Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA). “Over three quarters of Ontario’s food and beverage operators will benefit from this support, which will drive tangible results during recovery and beyond.”
Additionally, the government is freezing the basic beer tax rates that were set to be indexed to inflation on Mar. 1, 2022 until Mar. 1, 2023 to help brewers recover from the pandemic and save consumers’ money.
“The speed and efficiency of our support for Ontario’s vibrant hospitality sector was recognized this year by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’ Golden Scissors Award, and we’re just getting started,” said Doug Downey, Attorney General of Ontario at a press conference Wednesday. “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.”