Is it a New Liquor Authority?

It is hardly a secret that the New York Liquor authority is so backlogged it takes months to process a standard license application.  While the state advertises it is “friendly to small business,” I doubt anyone dealing with the Liquor Authority would agree.  Many purchase transactions for liquor stores, bars and restaurants have gone south due to these burdensome delays.

There are no window hours at the zone offices and all calls are directed to an untrained call center staffed by tax department personnel with no experience in liquor licensing.  Call three times with the same question and you’ll get three different answers.  Most of the policies are unwritten so attempts to comply are often no more than a stab in the dark.

The New York State Liquor Authority has been working with Governor Cuomo and private industry experts from companies like Xerox to overhaul its systems and procedures and to amend laws that enable New York alcohol producers to be more competitive and profitable.  Changes to the tasting laws, expansion of the “farm” producer category, and the ability to sell products at more locations have all had a positive impact on the bottom line of New York small batch alcohol manufacturers.  These changes in the state’s ABC law have also removed many of the barriers to entry for start-up businesses.  The reduction in processing times for new licenses is aimed at getting start-ups in business and earning money months faster.

Is it a new Liquor Authority?  In Part 2 of this article we’ll look at steps the Liquor Authority is taking to reduce delays.

Tell us about your experience with the “new” Liquor Authority.  Are the efforts really working?