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LA To Use $6M Of CARES Act Funding To Help Street Vendors Get Permits, Equipment Amid COVID-19 Struggles

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to use $6 million in federal CARES Act funding to help street vendors procure equipment and permits needed to comply with local laws.

"I am very pleased that my motion passed council today to support street vendors relative to the COVID-19 Street Vending Recovery Fund," Councilman Gilbert Cedillo said. "The fund establishes...grants to micro-entrepreneurs, a category that consists primarily of street vendors due to the strict income eligibility guidelines."

The $6 million will be distributed through the Los Angeles Regional COVID Fund.

Vendors can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to help pay for supplies and permits to operate within the city and county of Los Angeles, according to Cedillo, who co-authored the motion with councilmembers Monica Rodriguez and Curren Price.

According to Cedillo, a little over a dozen vendors out of the thousands that operate in Los Angeles currently have valid licenses to operate.

On Sept. 4, Cedillo's Street Vendor Ambassador Project launched in hopes to provide vendors in his district with business education and financial assistance of up to $1,500.

He has also filed a motion asking city staff to report back on a pilot program that would deploy social distancing markers on sidewalks for street vendors to adhere to city and county health guidelines.

"At the beginning of the pandemic, it was important for us to protect life over livelihood," Cedillo said. "Now that our economy is beginning to open up, it is just as important for us to continue to prioritize health in the middle of an incredibly challenging health crisis, but also to provide forms of relief to help people get back onto their feet."

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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