Worcester is accepting applications for 10 new package store licenses

The city of Worcester is accepting applications for 10 new package store licenses after the state Liquor Control Board increased its quota due to population growth, bringing the total number of licenses available to five all-alcohol and 20 malt and wine.

The increase was announced in January after the release of 2020 US Census data, with the city’s population growing 14% to 206,000. The state allows a quota of one all liquor package store license and one malt and wine license for every 5,000 people in a community. Five new licenses of each type will be offered in Worcester, bringing the total for each to 42.

Prior to the addition of the new licenses, the city had already issued the existing 37 all-alcohol licenses. Currently, 19 malt and wine licenses have been issued with three more awaiting final state approval.

Not everyone is happy that the city has so many malt and wine licenses available, but has so far failed to assign them. Earlier this year, JPP Petroleum was refused a license by the Worcester License Commission because the commission believed the area was already adequately serviced.

Company lawyer Paul Mourad said the decision was appealed to the ABCC and heard on July 11, but they have not yet received a verdict.

“They’re sitting on so many licenses,” Mourad said. “The quota was increased because the population is growing, but it doesn’t look like they’re allowing more licenses.”

So far in 2022, the commission has heard nine applications for malt and wine licenses, according to meeting minutes. Of these, only JPP Petroleum was refused; two were withdrawn, two were postponed to future meetings that have not yet taken place and four others were approved.

As the commission anticipates strong demand for all-alcohol licenses, public hearings for all applicants will be heard beginning with the September 22 commission meeting and licenses will be issued from the pool of applicants once all have been heard.

If fewer than five licenses are issued, multiple applications will be considered in order of receipt.

Applications for new licenses are due August 23. For more information on applications, visit the Licensing Board website.

Related Content:

  • ‘They’re stopping small businesses from growing:’ Worcester Business appeals commission’s malt liquor license denial
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