With less than a week to go before the deadline 40% of licensing applications in Brighton & Hove have not yet been filed. Lots of companies have left it till the last minute and Brighton & Hove Council, like many others, is battling to process the applications in time.
According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) 180,000 licence-holders (58%) in England and Wales have so far failed to submit applications to renew their alcohol licences.
The 6 August deadline is just days away and more than 100,000 businesses are set to miss the deadline including 30,000 restaurants and fast-food outlets, 26,000 hotels and guest houses and 6,500 shops.
The FSB used its network of regional organisers to contact more than 80 local authorities over the last week. The responses revealed that the proportion of licensing applications received varied from less than 20% to 80%, but averaged just 42% across England and Wales.
The FSB is urging its 185,000 members to submit their applications on time, but is critical of the government for presiding over the implementation of a new system that has descended into chaos.
All existing licences will lapse with effect from 24 November, and those businesses failing to meet the deadline will be unable to sell alcohol, put on regulated entertainment, or sell hot food or drink after 11pm. They could also face a lengthy re-application process.
The requirement forms part of a series of changes aimed at streamlining administration. The new legislation will also allow a provision for 24 hour opening.
If you need help in making your application further information and advice is available via a new telephone service, on 020 7072 7447.
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Brighton & Hove City Council
Federation of Small Businesses