COVID-19 Business Resources - Build Back Victoria

The City is committed to supporting the local economy through recovery from COVID-19.

 

The Build Back Victoria (BBV) program includes several initiatives to support local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes providing access to public spaces for commercial use. Spaces on streets, pathways, sidewalks, parks and plazas are temporarily available for businesses use with a permit.

How to Apply/Permit Renewal

Program Requirements

  • Proof of Insurance must be provided in the minimum amount of $5 million with the City added as an additional insured
  • All applications must include an associated site plan drawing of the outdoor space
  • Portable propane heaters are permitted, to be installed and used as per the manufacturer’s requirements. Proper outdoor propane tank storage and fire safety plans are required.  
  • Roof coverings are permitted in the form of umbrellas, tents, and retractable awnings that are attached to a temporary patio structure
  • An accessible patio design is required including curb ramps, cane-detectable boundaries and accessible seating.
  • Solar or battery powered lights on tables or railings are permitted
  • Plumbed gas, water, or hardwired electrical connections are not permitted. 
  • Structures are to remain temporary, non-permanent, and not to be anchored into the roadway or sidewalk

Ending Permit

If you no longer require your BBV Permit, please contact Mitchell Jernslet mjernslet@victoria.ca and prepare for the return of any city-owned materials. If you are ending your permit and you have a deposit with the Parks Department, staff will makearrangements for site inspection and follow up.

BBV FAQs

I have an active BBV permit (flex space, loading zone, park use, patio) that I am using. Do I need to re-apply to keep it until October 31, 2022?

No - all existing BBV permits have been automatically extended until October 31, 2022.

If you have an active BBV permit, you do not need to re-apply. The City will not issue any NEW BBV permits that serve alcohol past October 31, 2021. BBV permits that have already been issued and serve alcohol will only be permitted to provide alcohol service until June 1, 2022 when the temporary extended service areas (TESA) issued through LCRB expire.

Do I need to be using my BBV permit space (flex space, loading zone, park use, patio) over the winter to keep it active? And will I need to re-apply when ready to use it again?
Yes, the BBV space must be in use. If your space is not in use, please decommission. The City will use this valuable public space for other purposes. You can re-apply once you are ready to have your BBV permit space activated again in the Spring / Summer.

Can new businesses participate in BBV?
Yes, new businesses can apply to participate in BBV. The program expires on October 31, 2022.

The on-line application and BBV Program guide is the best way to learn about options and requirements in the BBV Program. New BBV applications will be accepted until October 31, 2022. In order to comply with provincial liquor laws, the City will not be granting any NEW BBV permits for patio spaces or flex spaces that serve liquor. You can apply for space, but you cannot serve alcohol.

I want to transition my BBV Patio into a "semi-permanent" space that I pay for annually. What do I do?
At any time, you can apply to the City’s annual Patio Licencing Program (formally called the Sidewalk Café Licence). Once a license is approved, the space is paid for annually.

If you have an existing BBV permit, you will be able to continue operating under this permit while you simultaneously apply for the Patio Licence. Patios require a comprehensive consideration of design, accessibility and safety. Applications for patio licenses which involve service of alcohol will also require applying to the LCRB for an approval of the extended service area. The LCRB has signalled that they expect longer than usual processing times for these applications, so applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to avoid any potential interruption of service as a result.

My insurance is expired / expiring. Do I need to provide the updated evidence of insurance to the City?Yes - you must provide the City with proof of valid insurance for BBV.

Sharing insurance details are required under your permit terms. Applicants must, at their own expense, obtain and maintain commercial general liability insurance, in the minimum amount of $5 million with the City added as an additional insured, together with a cross liability clause. Insurance may not be cancelled, lapsed or materially changed without the insured giving 30 days to the City. Please submit documentation to bizhub@victoria.ca.

Does access to expanded public space under BBV mean that I can add overall occupant capacity to my restaurants / cafe?
No – your capacity / occupancy remains the same. Occupant Load Calculations are based on several factors outlined in the BC Fire Code. Click here for more information.

I understand that the temporary extension to provincial liquor licenses will end on June 01, 2022. Will this impact my business that is operating under BBV?
Yes, the expiry of the TESA program on June 01, 2022 will impact those serving alcohol.

The City’s BBV permit provides you with permission for space to utilize as an extension to your business. The operations within that space must comply with existing bylaws and provincial legislation. Once the liquor license expires by the Province on June 01, 2022, you will no longer be able to serve liquor within the BBV area.

I am mobile vendor under BBV. Does anything change for me?
No, not at this time.

New applications for mobile vending can be submitted to the Business Hub at bizhub@victoria.ca.

For mobile vendors who have already been operating and approved through the program, permits will continue to be issued on a 2-week rotation. Please contact Bobby at bbains@victoria.ca to request a permit at one of the approved vending locations.

For both new and existing mobile vending permits - please ensure that all relevant documentation is up to date, including insurance (see Q.7), Health Inspection, Business License and Food Cart Inspection.

Click here for a list of available mobile vending spots. [PDF - 2 MB]

I have a curbside loading zone under BBV. Does anything change for me?
No, not at this time.

The City will be assessing all temporary loading zones and will consider any permanent changes to establish additional loading zones across the municipality. You will be contacted by City of Victoria staff if this is the case.

I want to conduct business in a City park again in the spring under BBV. Does anything change for me?
No, not at this time.

You would apply again, when ready, through the same process by submitting a new application to the Business Hub at bizhub@victoria.ca . Please ensure that all relevant documentation is up to date, including insurance (see Q.7), site plan and business license.

Do I need to contact you if I want to make changes to my BBV permit terms?
Yes. All changes to permits must be approved. This means physical space, hours of operations, planned activities etc. 


Contact Us


 Biz Hub                Business Licensing        Permits and Inspections

      Email us

     250.361.0629

                   Email us

                   250.361.0572

           Email us

           250.361.0344