B.C. Wine Culture

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B.C. alcoholic beverage producers are joining forces to encourage British Columbians to support local businesses in an effort to mitigate the economic devastation wrought by COVID-19. The “Time to Buy BC” campaign was launched on Tuesday in a joint effort between the B.C. Craft Brewers Guild, the B.C. Farm Crafted Cider Association, the Craft Distillers Guild of B.C. and the B.C. Wine Institute, together representing more than 500 breweries, cideries, distilleries, wineries and alcoholic beverage producers across the province.

The campaign’s website, TimeToBuyBC.ca has a complete list of local B.C. craft breweries, cideries, wineries, distilleries and refreshment beverage companies you can support.

“We are facing serious hardships that could, if we don’t act, continue long after the current crisis is resolved,” says Ken Beattie, executive director for the B.C. Craft Brewers Guild. “As alcohol producers, we employ thousands of British Columbians and we are now challenged with workforce layoffs or, for some, even closures. When B.C. emerges from the pandemic, British Columbians will want to return to normal lives, and we will want to rehire them and to rebuild business.”

Time to Buy BC is a non-political organization made up of small and medium business operators who want to support B.C. business and protect long-term jobs in B.C. While initially formed by the B.C. beverage alcohol sector, the organization states it hopes to expand to include any B.C. business or manufacturer.

According to a recent B.C. Chamber of Conference survey of close to 2,000 B.C. businesses, half of those surveyed experienced revenue decreases of 75% or more, while more than 50% of businesses were concerned they will be insolvent or not have the fiscal capacity to restart their business.

“We believe most people would willingly support B.C. businesses over others, and we need now to give them an informed choice so that when they select local craft beer, cider, wine, distilled spirit or refreshment beverage they can do just that,” says Mike Petkau co-owner of Summerland’s Nomad Cider. “We are imploring all B.C. businesses… to adopt the Time to Buy BC initiative.”

You can support B.C. wineries by ordering wine to go or having it delivered to home.

For more information on how to support local businesses, visit TimeToBuyBC.ca or follow the campaign on social media at @timetobuybc.

—by Rob Mangelsdorf, The Growler

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