San Francisco Mission vendors making '$10 a day' due to 90-day street vending ban

Luz Pena Image
Thursday, December 7, 2023
SF Mission vendors making '$10 a day' due to street vending ban
Some San Francisco Mission Street vendors say they're making $10 a day due to city's 90-day street vending ban.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's week two of a ban on San Francisco street vendors that stops them from selling outdoors on Mission Street for 90 days.

Vendors are pleading for city officials to intervene and help. Many of them don't think they will be able to survive 90 days making $5-20 a day.

At 2137 Mission Street - the storefront the city rented for at least 43 vendors to sell indoors during the 90-day ban - we found only 10 vendors.

We met Juan Mendoza up front. Juan says many people in the area don't know they are there so he grabs his merchandise and persuades people to go in.

"I stand out here and start promoting what is happening inside," said Mendoza.

RELATED: SF's Mission St. vendors urge officials to postpone 90-day selling ban until after holidays

Ana Nunez sells accessories. She used to make $200 a day.

Luz Pena: "How are things going?"

Ana Nunez: "Very bad. Some days I make $10, $15, $20. That is not much."

Across from Ana, we met Maria Avila. With tears in her eyes, she said, "I go to the bathroom and I cry. It's not only difficult for me but for every other vendor inside."

The city imposed the 90-day ban as a strategy to get rid of unpermitted vendors selling stolen items on the sidewalks. 24th street was a hot spot. We drove by it and noticed it was clean and SFPD was on site.

A block from this location at Lilac Alley, the city opened another nine spots for vendors and call it "La Placita."

VIDEO: Unpermitted street vending still happening in SF's Mission District despite 90-day ban

Unpermitted street vending is still happening in San Francisco's Mission District despite the city's 90-day ban.

"We haven't been able to sale anything in here. Nothing. People don't come in. The same way that you see it right now that is empty, it's the same way," said Sofia Lopez.

Susana Rojas is the executive director of Calle 24, the nonprofit that runs the Placita site.

Pena: "Many of the people I've spoken to today tell me they don't have enough money to pay rent. Are you hearing the same thing?"

Susana Rojas: "Yes, correct. That is one of the biggest concerns - they are okay for December but the worry is what is going to happen in January."

Other vendors are now considering breaking the ban.

RELATED: San Francisco Mission District vendors say street vending ban isn't fair

Rodrigo Lopez: "For me, there is no way I can be in here for another week."

Pena: "What is your plan?"

Lopez: "To go out. If I have to break the law - sorry. I tried to do my best. I complied with the city but it obviously doesn't work"

The mayor's office confirmed that starting tomorrow they will begin offering an emergency relief package for low-income households.

Full statement by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development:

"Permitted vendors at the new marketplaces, El Tiangue and La Placita, will have access to wraparound support services, including business consultation and entrepreneurship training as well as workforce training and placement, marketing support, and emergency relief for low-income households, and other available programs. Community organizations are collaborating with the City on a marketing campaign to promote the marketplaces and local businesses, which launches tomorrow. The campaign will include a dedicated webpage, social media posts, media ad buys, on-foot promotion by ambassadors, and other marketing assets such as printed flyers in Spanish.

As we create economic pathways for our permitted vendors and identify resources and opportunities that support their long-term sustainability, we cannot lose sight that we need to deliver safe and clean streets for our small business owners, permitted vendors, Mission residents, and visitors."

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