TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Gov. Chris Christie will allow state liquor license holders to start serving customers two months earlier than scheduled.

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Christie announced the decision in an executive order made public Wednesday. It means license holders can start serving alcohol on March 1 instead of May 1.

Christie says the extension is necessary to help businesses recoup from damages caused by Superstorm Sandy.

Under current rules, seasonal liquor license holders may serve alcohol from May 1 until Nov. 14. The order announced Wednesday changes only the start date.

This is the third year that Christie has moved up the license's start date.

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