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Support Vending Regulations that are Fair to Small Business

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Can you believe that among the 51 States, DC already ranks LAST (#51) on a Small Business Survivability Index. 

Small Businesses are facing yet another challenge.

DC is allowing food trucks to operate with little to no consideration for the laws, regulations and tax burdens that apply to every other business in the District. This wild west climate for mobile vending is another straw that could break the backs of many small businesses. 

Neighborhood businesses pay the high rents and real estate, business, unemployment and sales taxes. They make substantial investments in their buildings. The Neighborhood business owners and managers work hard in the community to ensure safe and clean public spaces. Businesses and Landlords are also required to keep the sidewalks clean and free of snow and ice. 

Food Trucks are being allowed to swoop in, park in front of and in close proximity to small businesses at peak times while ignoring parking regulations and fees. They collect their sales and simply drive off to their next location. They don't pay the high rents, don't pay fees for use of public space, don't pay business taxes, don't pay real estate taxes and don't charge sales tax.

Mobile Food Trucks are being awarded unfair advantages at the expense of Neighborhood based businesses.

  1. The proposed DC regulations do not require Mobile Food Trucks to charge sales tax. 
  2. The proposed DC regulations SPECIFICALLY EXEMPT mobile food trucks from acquiring a designated site permit.
  3. The proposed DC regulations do not include the Public Space Committee process to manage the rental of public roadway locations. 

Neighborhood based businesses are struggling to make up the lost revenue from much needed peak hour sales.

  • Mobile Food Trucks should be required to charge and pay sales tax the same way that all Food Businesses are required to.
  • Mobile Food Trucks should not be exempted from obtaining a designated vending site.
  • Mobile Food Trucks should go through the same open and transparent Public Space Committee process that restaurants go through to rent public space.

If we don't stop to consider the implications of this inequitable treatment of brick and mortar restaurants, delis, coffee shops, carry outs and other small businesses we will find ourselves with fewer options in the future.

Whether you are a DC customer, resident, business owner or manager, please sign this petition supporting brick and mortar neighborhood businesses in their call for Fair and Transparent Food Truck Law and Regulations.


DC Small Business Coalition. (Independent business owners and managers from across the District of Columbia)


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