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NDP MLA Roly Russell Says that businesses will benefit from extended patio permits

March 10, 2023 at 11:58 am  Politics, Provincial

NDP MLA Roly Russell Says that businesses will benefit from extended patio permits

OSOYOOS- New Democrat MLA Roly Russell says that businesses in the South Okanagan and Similkameen will benefit from a government announcement that will extend temporary outdoor seating permit authorizations in time for patio season.

Temporary expanded service area authorizations, known as TESAs, are the permits that have enabled thousands of liquor-licensed businesses, including restaurants, bars, breweries, and wineries, to create new or expanded outdoor seating spaces before making them permanent. The BC Government will extend the TESA authorizations one final time until Dec. 31, 2024, giving local authorities time to update patio policies and for businesses to make their patios permanent.

“For the last year I’ve been talking to growers, producers, retailers, and others in the South Okanagan and the Similkameen about the challenges that they’re facing in this enormously important value-added agricultural sector for BC.  The opportunities and potential in the industry are enormous,” said Roly Russell, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen.  “We’ve been working on options to modernize the regulatory regime, streamline permitting, find opportunities to support climate change resilience after the cold winters, and more.  This announcement around TESA extensions is just one more step in the right direction!”

This extension will mean that business can continue to benefit from outdoor seating throughout the summer which will keep people working in the food and service industry employed, while ensuring that customers can continue to experience the world class food and beverage industry across BC.

Businesses that want to make their current TESA permanent must apply through the Liquor and Cannabis Licensing Portal. Permanent approval of expanded service areas must meet all local bylaws and requirements.

The TESA program was implemented in May 2020 as a measure to help the food-and-beverage sector through difficult financial times during the COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2021, the Province extended existing TESA authorizations to provide time for local authorities to update their patio policies and for licensees to apply to make those areas permanent. This was extended again to March 31, 2023.

Learn More: https://news.gov.bc.ca/28338

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