More LCBO outlets thrill businesses
For 14 years, Linda Lavigne has been trying to convince the government to allow an LCBO outlet in her store/restaurant, the Glen Roadhouse, in Glen Robertson.
“They never gave me one because I was too close to Alexandria,” she laments, saying that her neighbours had to make the trek out west, or even out of province, if they wanted to buy beer.
So she was thrilled on June 6 when Ontario’s Finance Minister, Vic Fideli, announced that the LCBO is undergoing a marketplace expansion program, which authorizes new LCBO Convenience Outlets in 200 communities across the province. Glen Robertson is just one of five Glengarry communities on the LCBO’s list. The others are Green Valley, Glen Walter, Apple Hill, and Williamstown.
On Thursday, the LCBO released a Request for Proposal seeking applications from local retailers in the identified communities interested in receiving a Convenience Outlet authorization. All business applicants that meet the requirements will be entered into a lottery for each community and those selected will be eligible for Convenience Outlet authorizations.
Ms. Lavigne isn’t the only local retailer who will apply for an outlet. Greg MacDonald, who helps runs the grocery store in Williamstown, says he’s been trying to bring alcohol into his business for years but was always denied because of his proximity to the LCBO in Lancaster.
“This would be great for our business,” he said.
The June 6 media release was the second big alcohol-related announcement to come out of Ontario over the past couple weeks. Late last month, the government announced its intention to terminate an agreement with the Beer Store, opening the way to expanding alcohol sales in corner stores. The province is seeking applications from local retailers in the 200 newly identified communities interested in receiving a Convenience Outlet authorization. All business applicants that meet the requirements for an authorization will be entered into a lottery for each community and those selected will be eligible for Convenience Outlet authorizations.
The government has also announced a Grocery program expansion, which will allow 87 more grocery operators to sell wine, beer and cider. The LCBO has released a Request for Entries (RFE) today on Biddingo.com. After completing the RFE process, eligible grocers will be selected through a lottery process. Successful grocers will then apply to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario for an authorization and enter into a wholesale supply agreement with the LCBO. The deadline for submissions is June 20.
The deadline for applications for the convenience outlet program is June 25.