City offers to pay sidewalk vendors, but no applicants have taken the cash so far | News

Three months ago, the City of Fontana announced that it was creating a Sidewalk Vending Reimbursement Program, which officials hoped would address the situation regarding unauthorized food vendors in the city.

The program would offer financial reimbursement — about $2,000 — to the vendors, covering the expenses associated with procuring an approved permit to sell their food. These expenses encompass the fees imposed by the San Bernardino County Environmental Health Department and the City of Fontana.

But even though the city is willing to pay these fees in order to bring the street vendors into compliance, the offer has not been well-received so far. As of Aug. 28, there have been no applicants for the program, the city said.

The city has also been attempting to curtail the number of street vendors using enforcement means, but it doesn’t seem to have worked.

“More and more, we are seeing food vendors coming into the city,” said Mayor Pro Tem Peter Garcia during a City Council meeting in June. “They’re not from Fontana; they’re from the Los Angeles area and other areas — not even within the county here — and they are hurting our businesses, frankly. We have many mom and pop businesses that are trying to make a living the right way, and un-permitted vendors coming into the city do not help their situation.

“So please keep in mind, when you are out shopping for food, to support our local businesses and those businesses that are operating the legal way and the permitted way.”

Businesses that operate legally must adhere to various regulations designed to ensure that the food is safe to consume.

During another meeting, Mayor Acquanetta Warren said that she talked to a restaurant owner who had to close down because un-permitted food vendors (who are not following the regulations) were taking business away.

The following items are required in order to become a fully permitted sidewalk vendor:

• Fictitious business name (DBA documentation)

• Employee identification number

• Environmental Health permit

• Business license with the City of Fontana

• California seller’s permit

• W9

For more information about the city’s program, visit:

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