The pumps will run dry this Christmas unless businesses serving alcohol apply for the new licences they need, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.
With fewer than 5% of the applications expected by local authorities received half-way through the transition period, the LGA fears many independents don't realise they need to apply.
Chairwoman of the LGA's Safer Communities Board councillor Bryony Rudkin said: "With just two and a half months to go until the deadline, these figures reveal just how many businesses run the risk of losing their alcohol licence."
Although larger groups seem likely to be ready for the start of the new licensing laws, the LGA is reminding independents that all licensed premises need to attain a new licence from their council before 6 August, even if they don't want to vary their existing hours.
Those that don't will find it much harder to re-obtain a licence as they lose previously unconditionally granted rights, known as grandfather rights.
New licensing laws in England and Wales affect every establishment serving alcohol, including restaurants and hotels, not just pubs.
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