Helping LA County Sidewalk Vendors Start, Grow, and Thrive!

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Supporting LA County’s Sidewalk Vendors

With support from local and regional partners, we’re here to help sidewalk vendors start up and thrive in our growing open-air economy, while also ensuring safe and healthy communities through compliant sidewalk vending operations.  

LA County is considering a new law that will allow residents to legally operate a sidewalk vending operation in the public right of way in the unincorporated areas of the County. This initiative is prompted by the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act (SB 946), passed in 2019 to decriminalize street vending throughout the State of California and to allow local authorities to develop guidelines and infrastructure to formalize the street vending industry.

DEO, with support from local and regional partners, is here to help sidewalk vendors start up and thrive in our growing one-air economy, while also ensuring safe and healthy communities through compliant sidewalk vending operations.

Once the LA County Board of Supervisors approve the sidewalk vending ordinance, no person, for themselves or any person, may engage in any sidewalk vending, including selling, or offering for sale any food or merchandise without first obtaining a Sidewalk Vending Registration Certificate.

WE want to Hear from you!

Sidewalk Vending Business Listening Sessions

Calling all community members in the unincorporated areas of LA County to join the DEO team to share feedback about the upcoming sidewalk vending ordinance. Our listening sessions will cover:

How Will it Work?

  • Requirement for Registration Certificate with DEO
  • Minimum information needed to apply for a Registration Certificate to start your business

What Would Not Be Allowed?

  • Required compliance of current noise ordinance
  • Enforcement and establishment of administrative fees

What Are Operation Requirements?

  • Permitted hours of operation for vending
  • Distancing requirements in operations
  • Required ADA Compliance

DEO will be hosting listening sessions in-person and virtually as well as in English and Spanish.

In-person Sessions
Monday, January 8
6:00pm – English Session
East LA Library
4837 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 90022

Thursday, January 11
4:30pm – English Session
Duarte Library
1301 Buena Vista St. Duarte, 91010
Wednesday, January 10
12:30pm – Spanish Session
5:30pm – English Session
Huntington Park Library
6518 Miles Ave, Huntington Park, 90255
Virtual Sessions
   
Wednesday, December 27, 2023 (Virtual/Spanish)  
5:00PM- 6:30 PM 
 
Thursday, January 4, 2024(Virtual/English)  
5:00PM- 6:30 PM 

Tuesday, January 9, 2024 (Virtual/Spanish)  
5:00PM- 6:30 PM

Can’t Attend a Listening Session? Complete our Feedback Form!

We invite you to share your suggestions and feedback on the implementation of the Sidewalk Vending Ordinance, how it impacts your business/community and what we can do to support you by completing the online feedback from. Your input will help shape the development of a proposed LA County Sidewalk Vending Ordinance. Before completing the feedback form, make sure to review the Sidewalk Vending Ordinance presentation to ensure your responses correspond to specific sections of the Ordinance.

English
En Español

For immediate or urgent assistance, new or operating street vendors can contact DEO or our partners Community Power Collective (CPC) at (844)-432-4900 or (323)-208-9018.

Para vendedores ambulantes nuevos o existentes llame a DEO al (844) 432-4900 o a nuestros socios Colectivo Poder Comunitario al (323) 208-9018.

Start your sidewalk vending business!

Sidewalk vending is legal in LA County, thanks to SB 946. In order to get started and/or stay compliant with regulations, follow these steps: 

Step 1: What Can You Sell?

To kick start your sidewalk vending business, see list of items you can sell as retail or food.

  • Retail sales include clothing, household items, gifts, flowers, cards, handmade items, and more.  
  • Food allowable without a permit are items such as whole fruits, vegetables and prepackaged from a store (chips, sodas, snacks) under 25 square feet or (5 feet by 5 feet space)

Sale of other types of food may require one or more types of Health Permits issues through the LA County Department of Public Health.

  • Prepare and sell food from home! You can prepare and sell certain foods from your home kitchen through a Cottage Food permit. There are only specific foods you are able to prepare from home. Check the list of approved cottage foods list.

Step 2: Where Can you Sell?

Location is important and you’ll need to get the right business license or permit for your street vending business depending on where you plan to operate. DEO can offer support on countywide rules, regulations and resources to help you navigate jurisdiction specific need.

Step 3: How to get started!

You will need to get a tax ID, register a business name, and get your seller’s permit to launch your sidewalk vending business!

Have Questions or need Support?

Our Office of Small Business is here to help!

Access free one-on-one business counseling sessions in-person, online or over the phone to ask questions on how to get your sidewalk vending business started or how to operate your cart in compliance of rules and regulations! We can help you find local requirements, apply for the Health Permit that’s right for you, and connect you to other business resources offered through our partners. 

Connect to OSB or Partners

Call DEO’s Office of Small Business or our partners, Community Power Collective, at (844)-432-4900.

In-Person Visits

Visit the Office of Small Business, Monday to Friday, 8am to 4:30pm at 4716 E. Cesar E. Chavez, Los Angeles 90022.

Access Online Services

Access online support by submitting your question at our East LA Entrepreneur Center – Concierge Service!

Sidewalk vendors – Know your Rights!

What Local Authorities Can and Can’t Do

Street vendors have basic protections under the current laws passed through Senate Bill 946 and Senate Bill 972. Learn more about what your rights are and how to exercise them when you are operating your side walk vending business in LA County.

What local authorities CANNOT do:

1. Require sidewalk vendors to only be in one area, unless the local authority is restricting vending to protect the community’s health, safety, or welfare, or ask permission from businesses or anyone besides from the government

2. Prohibit sidewalk vendors from operating public parks, unless the park has a commissary agreement, or the park is restricting vending to protect the community’s health, safety, or welfare.

3. Restrict the number of sidewalk vendors, unless the city or the county must restrict the number of vendors to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community

What local authorities CAN do:

1. Limit hours of operation, require permit or license, and require sanitary conditions

2. Prohibit stationary sidewalk vending in residential areas

3. Prohibit sidewalk vending near farmers’ markets, swap meets, and temporary special permit areas

4. Require vendors to comply with the Americans Disability Act (for example, vendors cannot block curb ramps)

5. Require certain information about the business’ operations (name, mailing address, type of sale)

Report a Sidewalk Vending Concern

To report a food truck or cart activity operating in the unincorporated area of LA County, call the Office of Small Business at (844) 432-4900 or email osb@opportunity.lacounty.gov. Please include details about the problem, exact location of the sales, day and times of operations.

To report a problem with illegal food dumping, sewage blockage and overnight items on the sidewalk, visit LA County Public Works at Contact Public Works (lacounty.gov)

Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations (MEHKOS) in LA County

LA County is considering a new law that will allow residents to legally operate a miniature restaurant in their home kitchen (not including cities of Pasadena, Long Beach or Vernon), also known as MEHKOs, or Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations. MEHKOs is a state law that if passed locally, will provide entrepreneurs and aspiring chefs a legal pathway to:

  • Prepare, and serve food to the public, as allowed by State law, similar to a mini restaurant;
  • Make up to 90 meals per week and 30 meals per day; and
  • Earn up to $100,000 in revenue

Find out how MEHKOS impact you.

Join Team DEO and the Department of Public Health for our upcoming town halls on street vending in LA County and the discussion of the potential new law that will allow residents to legally operate a miniature restaurant in their home kitchen.

Monday, December 4th
11:00 am – Spanish
5:30 pm – English
South Whittier Library
11543 Colima Rd.
Whittier, CA 90604
Tuesday, December 5th
12:30 pm – Spanish
5:30 pm – English
San Fernando Library
217 Maclay Ave.,
San Fernando, CA 91340
Thursday, December 7th
11:00 am – Spanish
5:30 pm – English
El Camino Real Library
4264 E. Whittier Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA90023
Monday, December 11th
12:00 pm – English
Altadena Library
600 E. Mariposa Street
Altadena, California 91001
Tuesday, December 12th
12:30 pm – Spanish
5:30 pm – English
Lancaster Library
601 W. Lancaster Blvd
Lancaster, CA 93534
Wednesday, December 13th
1:00 pm – Spanish
5:30 pm – English
Willowbrook Library
11737 Wilmington Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90059

Missed the latest virtual town halls? We got you covered! Watch our latest MEHKOs webinars in both English and Spanish below!

Interested in receiving information on MEHKOS?

Scan QR code or click on the link below to receive the latest information.

Virtual Town Hall (English)
Virtual Town Hall (Spanish)

Additional Resources for Small Businesses

DEO is home the Office of Small Business – LA County’s one-top centralized hub for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Supporting Local Mom and Pop Stores

Team DEO kick started Shop Local LA County to support mom & pop stores and strengthen the bonds that connect our communities. Through Shop Local, small businesses can also connect to wide range of resources to support their economic and digital growth including social media training, digital marketing resources, and coaching!

Save Time, Money, and Resources!

Small businesses in LA County can connect with legal experts and access ongoing webinars, one-on-one counseling, and legal academies at NO-COST to help businesses maintain their status, personnel, property, and revenue streams!  See complete calendar listing of upcoming virtual and in-person workshops, webinars and presentations.

Help with Winning a Contract!

For free 1-on-1 technical assistance to respond and find opportunities like the Street Vending Cart RFP and other government procurement, meet with DEO’s APEX Accelerators. Services include how to find and respond to an RFP, understand registration and certification requirements and how to market to government agencies or prime contractors.  


Find Out More About…


Request for Proposals (RFP) for Food Carts

The County of Los Angeles Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) and Kounkuey Design Initiative (KDI) are requesting proposals from qualified firms to provide fabrication services to build an affordable mobile food cart for sidewalk vending through a collaborative process that meets the expressed needs of vendors and health and food safety regulations set by LA County Department of Public Health and the California Retail Food Code. An optional, virtual pre-submittal meeting will be held on Friday, June 23rd, 2023, at 11am and will be available only to those that have completed the interest form.  

  • Please fill out the following interest form to receive meeting login information and to receive announcements related to this RFP.
  • Existing cart drawings will be made available as reference material after the prospective bidder signs and returns the Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) to Adriana@kounkuey.org. The NDA is included in the RFP materials.  

RFP responses must be submitted to Adriana@kounkuey.org by 11:59 pm Friday, July 7th.