LB Post: Newsom signs law to help legalize street vending by simplifying permit process
BY Fernando Haro Garcia
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday signed into law a bill intended to decriminalize street vending by making it easier for the micro-entrepreneurs to secure permits and operate legally within the formal food economy.
State Sen. Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) first introduced Senate Bill 972 back in February with the goal of removing barriers in state law that kept mobile food vendors from getting permits for their businesses.
While many places had already legalized street vending, including Los Angeles County in 2018, the hurdles to secure health permits still made it nearly impossible for many vendors to operate legally.
One such hurdle was the California Retail Food Code, which set strict uniform and sanitation standards for retail food facilities such as “cottage food operations,” “microenterprise home kitchen operations” and “mobile food facilities;” none of which met the needs of street vendors who usually operate outdoors and sell out of wagons, stands or pushcarts.
SB 972 updates the California Retail Food Code and gives vendors more attainable access to permits instead of forcing them to go through a dizzying process of multiple offices and complicated paperwork.
“This is a monumental win for thousands of micro-entrepreneurs and families in California,” Gonzalez said. “With the enactment of SB 972 into law, street food vendors can finally make a living in peace, and pursue their American dream, and we can all continue to enjoy the iconic street foods we love.”