It has been a very busy few weeks for CICC as we have worked for our members during the phased re-opening of economies. We have been actively engaged with governments across the country and like-minded associations advocating for our channel to make sure our industry’s recovery efforts and challenges are understood and considered in decision making.
Since the start of the pandemic, CICC has been advocating for the pause of non-essential regulations. We are proud to share that Ottawa has announced that the enforcement of regulations regarding packaging of vape products has been pushed to January 1, 2021 (from the already pushed back date of July ).
Our key message to government is that the health and safety of our staff and customers would be compromised if we had to undertake extensive inventory changes. We are also reiterating that now is not the time to bring in new regulations that will take time away from the increased burden of complying with safety and sanitization procedures.
Early last week, the Prime Minister announced a temporary plan to give employees 10 paid sick days (for COVID) a year. Late last week, he confirmed that the federal government would cover most of the costs but details of this are still being worked out with the provinces. We will continue to monitor this and update our members as details come to us.
Later today, CICC President and CEO, Anne Kothawala will make an appearance at the province’s pre-budget consultations. The presentation will focus on increased labour costs as well as PPE costs, the impact on revenues and suggestions to provide a better business environment for our channel with more certainty.
From June 1, the province increased minimum wage by 75 cents (6%), now at $14.60 per hour.
The province announced on Tuesday, June 2 its new vaping legislation. CICC advocated that convenience stores should not be faced with any kind of ban on sales. We were pleased that the government heard our concerns and will not ban or restrict flavours nor cap nicotine levels.
Based on CICC’s advocacy, Manitoba has announced that convenience store workers would qualify as essential workers for the provincial wage top-up. The full list of eligible positions and organizations, along with online application forms, is available through the province’s online portal. The application deadline is June 18.
Following the Federal government’s vaping regulations, CICC will continue to advocate for Ontario to follow suit and push its July 1st enforcement start date.
On the beer and wine file, we have been in consistently engaging with key political staff. We have been assured that Ontario is very cognizant of the need to support businesses in the province and getting beer and wine in convenience stores is still a priority.
As reserves begin to re-open in the province and contraband sales will inevitably re-start, CICC will continue our work with government to ensure that measures are taken to address this ongoing problem.
Despite coordinated advocacy efforts from retail organizations, including CICC, to keep empty bottle and can collections out of convenience (and other) stores, the government has announced that starting June 8 (outside Montreal) and June 22 (Montreal) all stores are required to take back deposit beverages in-store.
CICC continues to work with government to share our concerns about the impact on the health and safety of our staff and customers as well as the smaller footprint of convenience stores which makes returns virtually impossible.
We are continuing to work closely with CIPMA and ACSA on seeking relief for our members operating in the region, including getting clarity on Nova Scotia’s announcement that small business grants of $5,000 would apply to small independent retail gasoline dealers.
As we continue to work and advocate on your behalf across the country, for updates on re-opening developments across the country, view our Full Brief for a comprehensive summary.
COVID-19 and the Convenience Industry Survey Results
Following last month’s sharing of the early data from a survey we conducted through Abacus Data gauging Canadians’ opinions on the convenience sector and our handling of the pandemic, the final results are in:
National Convenience Week 2020
We are pleased to share that we are continuing with our plans for this year’s National Convenience Week (August 31st to September 4th) to celebrate our channel and support Make-A-Wish Canada.
More than ever, now is the time to celebrate the stores that have remained open from the start of the pandemic to supply essentials and basic groceries, and the frontline store staff that showed up to serve their communities. In the spirit of continuing to support our communities, we will again raise funds for Make-A-Wish Canada (formerly Children’s Wish Canada).
If you have any frontline and community stories from your stores, we want to hear them. Any stories from our vendor partners are also greatly appreciated. Please share with Carmina Jimenez at firstname.lastname@example.org
Virtual Event in Fall 2020
Following our difficult decision to postpone the 2020 Summit to next year, we are working to organize a virtual event in the fall of 2020. Stay tuned for details on how we will bring our industry together for a day of virtual networking, innovation sharing, and learning.
Retail Council of Canada’s Road to Recovery Playbook
To help retailers of all sizes with their reopening plans, the Retail Council of Canada (RCC), in partnership with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), has prepared the Road to Retail Recovery Playbook.
In the spirit of our collaborative relationship with RCC, they have given us the green light to share this helpful document with our membership. Download the Playbookhere.
Personal Protective Equipment
CICC has been approached by a number of vendors that produce and supply PPE, ranging from masks to cleaning and sanitizing products, to countertop plexiglass shields.
Though CICC is not endorsing any of these companies, in the spirit of sharing to protect our members and customers, please reference this list of vendors.
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