Getting a vending permit to operate a food truck in New York City is a major challenge. The city has capped the licenses known as “citywide” permits at around 3,000 since the 1980s. As venders with an active two-year license can renew it indefinitely, thousands of other applicants are stuck in a waiting list for as much as twelve years.
“I have been waiting for my own permit since 2007,” said Emma Vergara. She has been selling roasted peanuts in the Financial District as an employee for the owner of her cart.
However, the city council has been discussing a change in the regulations that might add an additional 445 permits a year. This bill would gradually expand the number of permits to vend food on the streets and sidewalks of New York City.
Venders are hopeful that the bill will pass, allowing them to start their own businesses—and helping to put an end to a flourishing black-market that replaces the city and offers illegal permits.