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Published on February 27, 2024
Long Beach Launches "Sidewalk to Success" Program to Empower Local Sidewalk VendorsSource: Google Street View

Long Beach is ushering in a new era for sidewalk vendors with its latest initiative, "Sidewalk to Success." As reported by the City of Long Beach, the program, fueled by the Long Beach Recovery Act, aims to support small businesses as they navigate the fresh Sidewalk Vending Ordinance. Starting today, new regulations come into play, but they're paired with a financial boost for those hitting the pavement to sell their goods.

These fledgling businesses stand to benefit as the city has agreed to foot the bill for essential startup costs that include business license and health permit fees for the first year. "Small businesses play a vital role in the expansion of economic development for our City," Mayor Rex Richardson emphasized in the city's statement. The program's second phase will even roll out up to 40 free food vending carts, though the final count hinges on the types of carts and the level of participation.

In addition to fee waivers, the city will reimburse sidewalk vendors up to $450 for first-year insurance costs. Long Beach is eager to help its vendors by opening the reimbursement window from February 26, 2024, through February 26, 2025. Vendors are required to have general liability insurance, a necessity for securing a business license. Though the number of vendors who will capitalize on this program is yet undetermined, the city is prepared to scale its support based on demand.

Aspiring vendors can dive into the details at the official website, longbeach.gov/sidewalkvending, or reach out directly to the relevant departments for assistance. But that's not all the city offers. The Inclusive Business Navigators, also a product of the Long Beach Recovery Act, offers business coaching at no cost. Vendors angling for a license or navigating health regulations can get in-person guidance from experts, and details are available at longbeach.gov/biznavigators.

January 2023 marked the announcement of this supportive program following the unanimous City Council nod for the new sidewalk vending ordinance, setting it in line with California’s Safe Sidewalk Vending Act. This ordinance is a step forward from extensive outreach and aligns with not only the city's economic goals but also its health and wellness objectives amidst ongoing recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information on how the City of Long Beach is bolstering its community and business sector, visit longbeach.gov.