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Rep. Henriquez Supports Hearing on Call for Liquor License Cap


State Representative Carlos Henriquez supports City Councilor Ayanna Pressley’s call for a hearing on the cap on liquor licenses in Boston.

Order for Hearing - Click here

State Representative Carlos Henriquez cites a concern of equity.

“We need to examine equity in the geographic distribution as well as the accessibility to small local business owners due to cost.”

  • Liquor Licenses are often an economic engine for restaurants often determining a businesses’ viability.
  • These small businesses also hire locally creating jobs for local residents.
  • “We live in a very diverse city but diversity is not solely about how many different people live and where but where we meet publicly. Local restaurants create places to celebrate and showcase our diversity.”
“Currently  the district I represent and neighboring working class neighborhoods lack access to family and dining establishments and entertainment key in attracting and retaining young professionals and families in our cities’ neighborhoods.”


Contact Information

Contacts: Danielson Tavares
T: (617) 722-2060  Fax (617) 626-0330



Offered by Councilor Ayanna Pressley
City of Boston Insignia


CITY OF BOSTON ORDER FOR A HEARING TO EXPLORE LIQUOR LICENSE LAW CHANGES TO SPUR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND FOSTER EQUITY ACROSS NEIGHBORHOODS





WHEREAS,  A 1933 law apportioned a limited number of liquor licenses to Massachusetts cities and towns
requiring them to seek legislative approval to exceed those limits; and

WHEREAS, State control over liquor licenses was a result of Prohibition frenzy about alcohol and a power
struggle between Yankee legislators and Irish-dominated local governments; and

WHEREAS
Those conditions no longer apply, yet these restrictions are still in effect in Boston; and

WHEREAS
The lack of flexibility for Boston to locally control the liquor license distribution process
makes acquiring a liquor license lengthy, burdensome and costly for businesses; and

WHEREAS
The cap on the number of available liquor licenses in Boston drives up the price of licenses and the cost of doing business; and

WHEREAS
The unnecessarily high cost of doing business makes it difficult for entrepreneurs -
particularly small/local-, minority-, and women-owned business enterprises - to bring
innovation to the cultural, arts, and culinary arenas; and
WHEREAS
It unduly burdens entrepreneurs who wish to open small neighborhood establishments, who in
some estimates rely on alcohol sales for up to a quarter of their revenue; and

WHEREAS
In certain communities in Boston, particularly in communities of color, the high cost of liquor
licenses also makes it more difficult to develop the range of neighborhood entertainment and
dining offerings necessary to attract and retain young professionals and families; and

WHEREAS
These outdated restrictions impede the ability of cities and towns to spur economic
development and limits their ability to foster equity across neighborhoods.
THEREFORE BE IT

ORDERED, That the appropriate committee of the Boston City Council hold a hearing to examine the
process of acquiring a liquor license in Boston and explore changes to the laws governing that
process; and that representatives from the Boston Licensing Board and other interested
parties be invited to testify.


Filed on: 6/4/2012



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Posted: January 29, 2013     Nancy J Conrad
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