SANTA MONICA—On Wednesday, September 23, the Los Angeles City Council voted to direct $2 million in funding to Los Angeles street vendors. An additional $4 million was allocated to support micro-entrepreneurs, which may include street vendors.
The COVID-19 Street Vending Recovery Fund is granted from the federal CARES Act. It aims to aid vendors who may apply for grants of up to $5,000. It will pay for protective gear, permit applications, and supplies that allow for businesses to operate legally and comply with local safety requirements.
On June 9, 7th District Councilmember Monica Rodriguez initially introduced the motion.
“Even prior to the pandemic…food vendors in particular had reported difficulties obtaining the tools and permits required by the Los Angeles County Department of Health. As we move toward economic recovery, vendors are now facing steeper challenges in financing the up-front expenses necessary to vend in compliance. It is important for our collective economic recovery strategy to include resources to assist street vendors in achieving compliance to reopen their business,” wrote Rodriguez.
There are about 50,000 street vendors operating in Los Angeles, 10,000 of whom sell food. This includes local Escobar Fresh Fruit in Santa Monica, Hot Dog Lady in Santa Monica, El Primo Tacos in Santa Monica, and El Jefe Fresh Fruit in Westwood.
Canyon News reached out to Tran Le, the Director of Communications for Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.
Le echoed Rodriguez’s statement: “As we move towards economic recovery, vendors are now facing steeper challenges in financing the up-front expenses necessary to vend in compliance. It is important for the City’s collective economic recovery strategy to include resources to assist street vendors in achieving compliance to reopen their businesses. Vending can be an entrepreneurial pathway toward a brick and mortar small business and a means for families to support themselves financially. This relief fund will help remove barriers to entry for those seeking to operate in compliance with city and county regulations.”