Meeting Preparation and Appearances

It’s true that you only get one chance to make a first impression. And that first impression is absolutely critical when it comes to presenting to Community Boards. Our team is well seasoned in strategizing, preparing and executing these presentations. We also possess the relationships at all levels to eliminate any surprises (not the good kind).

The Community Board’s Role in Your Liquor License
When applying for a new license, the first step is to notify the local municipality of your intentions. Throughout the majority of the state of New York, these “municipalities” typically refer to your local city, village, or township. Due to the high density of people, businesses, and licensees in New York City, each borough has a set of unique bodies known as “Community Boards.”

Presenting to your Community Board is one of the most important steps in the licensing process for potential NYC eating and drinking establishments. A misstep at the Community Board level can grind your whole application to a significant halt. While its decision is only a recommendation to the State Liquor Authority (SLA), the SLA considers input from Community Boards in all licensing decisions. By getting the board’s recommendation for approval, you are on the fast track to receive a quicker approval from the SLA (assuming that the rest of your application passes muster). If the Community Board opposes your application, you may still move forward with your SLA application, but the process will take much longer.

Community Board Structure

Within the five boroughs, there are 59 total Community Boards – 12 in Manhattan, 18 in Brooklyn, 14 in Queens, 12 in the Bronx, and 3 in Staten Island. Each board is comprised of local resident and/or business-owner volunteers from their respective districts. These volunteers are split up into different subcommittees, one of which is charged with reviewing all applications to the New York State Liquor Authority. Generally, these license review subcommittees meet once per month.

Preparation for Your Meeting

Each of NYC’s Community Boards, especially those in Manhattan and Brooklyn, have their own unique and, typically, strict set of rules, requirements and procedures. Helbraun Levey’s licensing team will develop the appropriate strategy and provide the proper preparation materials that can result in a favorable outcome at Community Board level, ultimately leading your liquor license application to be approved by the SLA in the most expeditious way possible. If the Community Board chooses to oppose the application, we will work with you to execute the most effective strategy to succeed at the state level thereafter.

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