Street Vendor Programs
Building a better way forward
California’s street vendors bring vibrant flavors and cultural gems to life on bustling sidewalks and sunny plazas. But beneath the sizzle of pupusas and aroma of steaming tamales lies a hidden reality—a daily gauntlet of challenges that threaten their livelihoods and dreams.
While legalization in 2018 was a landmark victory, the permitting process remains a labyrinth. Stringent health regulations, often mirroring those for brick-and-mortar establishments, can be costly and complex for mobile vendors with limited resources. Navigating the bureaucratic maze can feel like scaling a mountain blindfolded, with the ever-present fear of fines or shutdowns looming.
The income of street vendors is inherently unpredictable. They face the whims of weather, foot traffic, and competition, all while juggling the costs of permits, equipment, and ingredients. This financial tightrope walk is especially precarious for immigrant vendors or those supporting families, leaving them constantly teetering on the edge of economic insecurity.
Safety Concerns that Sting:
Violence and harassment are unfortunately not uncommon realities for street vendors. They may face targeted robberies, confrontations with disgruntled residents, or even unfair treatment from law enforcement. The lack of secure vending spaces and limited access to restrooms can further exacerbate these vulnerabilities.
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*All events will be in English and Spanish. For live interpretation in a different language, please make that request on the English event registration page at least 1 week in advance to allow us enough time to make the proper accommodations.
Programs and services
Lending Circles transforms the practice of social lending into a 0% interest rotating social loan of up to $2,400. You can build savings, credit, and financial skills alongside your community.
Business Microloans are designed to support small business owners and entrepreneurs in California. With this 0% interest direct loan of up to $2,500, you can cover business-related costs while establishing or building credit.
MAF is here to support you on your unique financial journey. Through technical assistance, like group financial workshops or one-on-one coaching, you will receive the necessary tools and resources to achieve your financial goals.