Street vendors are as embedded in the New York business ecosystem as brick and mortar shops. Thousands of people, often immigrants and people of color, operate street vendor businesses, selling anything from fresh produce and flowers to medicine and clothing from carts, trucks, and tables.
Obtaining a street vending permit from the city involves navigating bureaucracy that often leads nowhere; nearly 12,000 people are on the waitlist, a fourth of which are for the Bronx. Thousands of people choose to continue running their street vendor business without a permit, risking $1,000 fines.
At a protest in Bryant Park, protesters from all over the city gathered to voice their support for an increase in the Excluded Workers Fund. The EWF was a federal project that allocated money to those who had no way of showing proof or documentation of loss of income due to the pandemic.