Bill would increase number of NYC street vendors

An effort by the City Council may increase the number of street vendors around the city.



The City Council has introduced the Street Vending Modernization Act, a tool aimed at helping to reform rules when it comes to vendor permits.



"Hopefully if this passes, thousands of vendors will be able to work with their own permit instead of renting one in the black market, which cost up to $25,000," says attorney Matthew Shapiro.



If passed, the bill would create a new dedicated vendor law enforcement unit, install street signs on blocks where vending is allowed and require more vendor training.



However, some are questioning if the bill would hurt brick-and-mortar businesses.



"We want to make sure a competitor is not selling the same thing that's being sold inside a store without having to pay rent and without having to pay insurance," says Gene Defrancis, of the Allerton Merchant Association. "We just want it to be fair."



With the help of the bill, the City Council intends to double the number of vendors, helping about 600 street vendors receive proper permits within the next seven years.


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