Passaic city officials begin crackdown on unlicensed street vendors

City officials spent the last year alerting vendors that they will need a license if they want to sell their products on the streets.

News 12 Staff

Jun 1, 2024, 10:24 PM

Updated 13 days ago

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City officials in Passaic began a crackdown Saturday on unlicensed street vendors.
City officials spent the last year alerting vendors that they will need a license if they want to sell their products on the streets.
Mayor Hector Lora says the city eased up on permit restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic but is once again implementing them.
Permitted vendors will be told where they will be allowed to set up shop based on what they are selling.
Officials say health concerns from food not being properly inspected to, making sure business is equitable for all and controlling litter and rodent activity are reasons for the crackdown.
"Some of these vendors have become so brazen that they're selling right in front of the stores with the same materials. So the person makes tacos or tamales at home, sells them in front of the taco shop, and they're selling for less so individuals are obviously buying and not going inside," Lora explained.
One of the newest locations where permitted vendors will be allowed to set up shop is at Garibaldi Plaza at the intersection of Monroe and First streets. But with less foot traffic than the downtown district, it remains to be seen if vendors or customers will come.
"Some pushed back and said, 'mayor, there aren't a lot of people there.' I tell them it's like the 'Field of Dreams' -- you build it, then people will come," Lora added.
Every vendor News 12 spoke with on Saturday had a permit. Officials and business owners say they want people to sell their goods, just in a way that is fair and safe for everyone.
"I don't mind people selling stuff…but when you open a store there without paying taxes, without paying anything, it's a problem," said Youri Cohen, owner of Yo Yo Clothing.
Permit prices vary on what vendors are selling. City officials say police will frequently check to ensure vendors have their permits.
If a vendor is found selling on the street without a permit, officials can fine them and may confiscate goods, carts and even vehicles.
Violators can be fined up to $1,000.


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