You know you’re in L.A. when on your way to work, you can pull over to the side street and get yourself a nice hot cup of Champarrado Mexican Chocolate Drink, and a Hot Chicken Tamale with your choice of green or red sauce. The perfect way to start the day off, and I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t see Senora Rosa on the way to work. If you’re walking, you’ve got enen more options as you see a variety of men and women of sidewalk enterprises selling their specialty Mexican delicacies.
Sidewalk Enterprises have been around since my mother was born, and maybe even before my Grammy was born. For years this has been the culture of California and even in Chicago where street vending is an emerging business. From your local intersections, back streets, side streets, sidewalks and storefronts; street vending at it’s finest is on the Rise from an underrated, unappreciated, and untapped into Enterprise. The definition of enterprise is 1. A project or undertaking typically one that is diffifult or requires effort. 2. A business or company…
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then guess what… it’s a duck. And Street Vending is a Business Enterprise.
This underground economy is backed by a community of supporters and lawmakers to legalize and micromanage the trade. Which generates over $500 million in annual sales, according to the economic roundtable. There are over 50,000 vendors in Los Angeles alone.
Councilman Jose Huizar of the 14th District stated ” the current system is broken” as he has been an advocate for and pushed for the legalization of street vending. He wants street vendors to “play by the rules,” pay taxes and abide by health & safety codes and FDA rules. The city of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Street Services is responsible for maintaining numerous elements of the city’s public works infrastructure and services that directly improve the quality of life of city residents, visitors, and stakeholders. The Bureau hands out many tickets to street vendors, which can cost up to $1,000 in fines and time in the L.A. County Jail. The city has even confiscated tables, equipment and push carts from many street vendors.
It’s important that these business keep up with the times as our society, culture, and communities are becoming more advanced through technology, leadership and demand for entrepreneurship and job growth. Bringing these street vendors into the world of business, franchising, and merging would greatly benefit these business, their communities, and the economy.
City Officials are working with lawmakers to determine what kind of goods could be sold, what fees would be imposed for a permit, and what days and hours of operation for street vendors. However, the vendors should not be over-regulated in order to preserve the culture and tradition of the enterprise.
With change there will always come opposition, but change is necessary today and inevitable. We will adapt, adopt, and serve our communities through the culture of business, service, and enterprise.