We support lifting the caps on vendor food permits and vendor general licenses. There are more than 20,000 street vendors in NYC ranging from hot dog vendors to flower vendors, from Halal food trucks to street artists. Over 90% of vendors come from immigrant communities, and they contribute to the city’s rich culture and economy by serving tourists and residents from every income level.
Despite attempts at making an honest living, vendors are subject to a litany of unjust regulations which make their work an incredible challenge. Since the early 1980s, an arbitrary cap has been placed on the number of available food permits and general vending licenses. This cap effectively makes street vending illegal for thousands of vendors and has led to the creation of a black market where permits (originally purchased from the City for $200) are now sold upwards of $20,000.
Lifting the caps on permits and licenses would not only decriminalize vending for the thousands of hard-working New Yorkers, but would also generate a significant increase to the City’ revenue. As vendors, workers, politicians, business owners, and community-based organizations, we support a bill that would lift the caps and allow members of our communities to work legally and justly.