Barclay: New License Process Will Help Retailers

The State Liquor Authority has simplified the liquor license application process after Assemblyman Will Barclay (R,C,I—Pulaski) and other lawmakers urged the authority to expedite the application process and not impede retailers from doing business.

The authority recently announced it has implemented two significant changes for those applying for a liquor license. First, applicants are now able to self-certify, which means they have the option to have an attorney certify their applications. Second, the application process has been simplified and separate applications have been created for grocery stores, drug stores, liquor stores and wine stores. This is designed to help eliminate confusion and save time for the applicant, which will expedite the process for the liquor authority as well. Both changes will result in retailers receiving their liquor licenses faster.

The authority is asking the public to make suggestions on ways in which the application can be further improved and will accept suggestions in writing until Dec. 31, 2009.

“I think the authority recognizes that there are gaps in the new applications, and therefore, needs businesses’ feedback,” said Barclay. “Nevertheless, this is a big step in the right direction for the liquor authority and will improve application turnaround time,” added Barclay.

“I’ve received numerous calls at my office from frustrated constituents who own businesses and say they’ve been waiting for months for a liquor license. Many pay rent or mortgages on property they can’t do business at as they await state approval,” said Barclay.

“I’m pleased the liquor authority has improved its application process. It’s these types of unnecessary delays that collectively give our state its unfriendly business reputation and frustrate taxpayers. By shedding layers of bureaucracy and simplifying the process, people can focus on making their businesses more successful,” added Barclay.

In June, Assemblyman Barclay announced he supports legislation that amends the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. The amendment proposes to expand the number and types of applicants eligible for temporary retail permits to include those waiting for the authority to review their liquor license application. The bill was introduced at the request of the State Liquor Authority.

“In this type of economy, especially, it is processes like this that, if improved, can help retail and service businesses get a strong start. Many understand that there is a waiting period but six months is too much to ask,” said Barclay. “Hopefully the changes will be friendlier to business.”