Everyone agrees that the street vending system in New York City is confusing and unfair for everyone involved: small business owners, pedestrians and the vendors themselves. The question now is whether City Council members will perpetuate this broken system or seize the opportunity to make meaningful reforms that allow street vending to continue to thrive, while protecting storefront businesses and ensuring a safe, accessible public realm.
The New York City BID Association, consisting of 72 business improvement districts throughout all five boroughs, represents 85,500 businesses, including 20,000 small storefront businesses which employ more than 1 million people. We welcome the councils recently introduced proposal to overhaul street vending, and respect the role that street vendors have played for more than a century in the fabric of daily life in New York City. At the same time, we support small business owners who also struggle to support families while paying taxes and conforming to the citys complex, often onerous laws and regulations.