To assist sidewalk vendors who have been impacted economically by COVID-19, the City Council with support from the Board of Public Works Commission extended the time sidewalk vendors can pay a reduced fee for a City Sidewalk and Park Vending Permit.
The reduced permit fee of $291 has now been extended until July 1, 2021, after which the fee is expected to increase to $541. The extension was originally proposed in a motion by Councilmember Curren Price and was recently heard in his Economic Development Committee. In addition, the Council approved other recommendations by StreetsLA and the Board of Public Works Commission. They include:
- Extending the expiration date of all vending permits issued through June 30, 2020 to 18 months from the date of permit issuance. This action helps make up for time that many vendors lost during the initial onset of the pandemic and stay-at-home orders; and
- Deferring the payment of newly issued permit fees to the end of 2020. With sidewalk vending again open for business, the fee deferral should allow legal vendors to build their income before having to pay their permit fee.
“COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow to sidewalk vendors across Los Angeles, hitting their livelihoods and undermining their economic security, and it’s our responsibility as a City to help them weather this crisis,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “No one should pay the price for trying to make ends meet right now, and this City Council action will help lift up hard-working Angelenos in need of financial relief.”
“We worked so hard to bring our sidewalk vendors out of the shadows only to have COVID-19 pose a new threat to their livelihoods,” said Councilmember Price. “The street vendor community includes some of the most economically vulnerable groups in Los Angeles- undocumented workers, women and the elderly. An extension of time to pay a reduced permit fee brings some relief as they navigate through these challenging times with limited help.”
“This has been a challenging time for sidewalk vendors as the pandemic has upended their marketplace,” said StreetsLA Executive Director Adel Hagekhalil. “We appreciate the City Council extending the reduced permit fee and approving other relief strategies so vendors have a chance to get back on their feet and join the economic recovery that we all want to see.”
All vendors must follow public health guidelines to minimize the spread of COVID-19 guidelines. The required County health guidelines include social distancing, face coverings, cleaning and sanitizing of their work spaces and providing hand sanitizer, soap and water. StreetsLA staff is providing face masks for vendors, if needed, as they conduct their outreach.
The guidance for vendors regarding COVID-19 safety precautions is highlighted on the StreetsLA website in English and Spanish, for food and merchandise: vending.lacity.org.
The website also provides information in 13 different languages on the program, how to become a permitted vendor and a list of free online informational workshops.
Since the start of the program on January 1, 2020, the City has issued almost 700 permits for vending on City sidewalks and in City parks.