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City of Long Beach to give away free vending carts

The city of Long Beach is developing the second phase of the “Sidewalk to Success” program, looking to incentivize street vendors to comply with regulations.

The second phase will allow 40 businesses complying with regulations to obtain a free vending cart from the city. The cart will be designed to meet city requirements.

Cameron Kudie, who launched his business, Cafablanca Coffee Cart, during the pandemic, said he thinks the program is a step in the right direction.

“We’ve gone from prohibition of street vending to regulation of street vending, which is hugely important,” Kudie said.

Under phase one, the program covered business license and health permit fees within the first year of street vending operations. Insurance costs not exceeding $450 were also reimbursed.

Business Liaison Julio Miranda said Long Beach is continually helping to waive association tied to obtaining required licenses.

“The city is requiring businesses to get insurance, and for the first year, will reimburse the insurance,” he said.

However, Kudie said the city’s standards do not account for his unique operation.

“Street vendors who have unique set-ups like us still have no pathway to permitting,” he explained. “We can’t get a permit unless we purchase pre-approved NSF certified equipment that is on the city’s list.”

Kudie said he would jump at the opportunity to be a permitted vendor, but did not want to jeopardize the popularity generated by his coffee cart, which operates on a donation basis.

“We might as well be a Starbucks,” he said. “The uniqueness and the specialness is what makes it such a big draw.”

Long Beach officials were working out the details of how the cart giveaway will work. The city does not expect the cart to be available for several months.

Once the program is launched, applications for the program can be found here. 

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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