Waiting list for street vendor licenses

NY Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Lorelei Salas today announced that the agency is creating a new waiting list for people who want to apply for general vendor licenses, which is required to sell, lease, or offer to sell or lease goods or services in a public place that is not a store.

For additional information, including FAQs, visit nyc.gov/dca or call 311 and ask to speak with a DCA representative about the General Vendor License.

Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on November 15, 2016. Once the application period closes, DCA will assign each accepted application a non-transferable priority number (i.e., position) based on a computer-generated random number selection program.

The order in which applications are submitted will not affect an applicant’s position on the waiting list. DCA will notify applicants in writing of their waiting list number and then contact them in order, as licenses become available, to submit a license application. The law, as established by the City Council, limits the number of non-veteran general vendor licenses to 853.

“There is now, for the first time in many years, the opportunity to get on the list to apply for a license to be a general vendor in New York City,” said DCA Commissioner Lorelei Salas.

Food carts challenge annual review process

Madison’s food cart community came together before the Vending Oversight Committee to express dissatisfaction with the food cart review system and offer suggestions for a new process.

“I think if anyone looks at the judging, it’s easy to see some really systematic problems in how the scoring works,” Jonny Hunter, co-founder of Underground Food Collective, told the committee.

Food cart owners stressed the seriousness of the consequences of the rankings, with many of them saying livelihoods were at stake.

“This is a very serious subject,” said Joshua Barraza, co-proprietor of El Grito Taqueria food cart. “This is our life. This is all I do. This is it … This is all I have. So I’m going to fight for this as hard as I can.”

The city’s annual review determines which carts get the 40 coveted food vending spaces on the Library Mall and around the State Capitol. The rankings are completed by the Economic Development Division of the city of Madison and organized by street vending coordinator Warren Hansen.