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ANHD

50 Broad Street, Suite 1402
New York, NY 10004
Tel: (212) 747-1117

TESTIMONY OF LENA AFRIDI BEFORE
THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL COMMITTEE ON CONSUMER AFFAIRS
CONCERNING EXPANDING THE AVAILABILITY OF FOOD VENDOR PERMITS,
CREATING AN OFFICE OF STREET VENDOR ENFORCEMENT, AND
ESTABLISHING A STREET VENDOR ADVISORY BOARD
October 26th, 2016
Good Morning. Thank you Chair Espinal and thank you to the members of the Committee on
Consumer Affairs for the opportunity to testify on the expansion of food vendor permits.
My name is Lena Afridi and I am the Policy Coordinator for Equitable Economic Development
at the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD). ANHD is a
membership organization of NYC- neighborhood based community groups. We have nearly 100
members throughout the five boroughs. Our mission is to ensure flourishing neighborhoods and
decent, affordable housing for all New Yorkers. We are speaking as a part of United for Small
Business NYC, a citywide coalition of community organizations across New York City fighting
to protect New York’s small businesses and non-residential tenants from the threat of
displacement, with particular focus on owner-operated, low-income, minority and immigrant run
businesses that serve low-income and minority communities.
ANHD and USBNYC support lifting the caps on permits for street vendors. New York’s street
vendors are central to our neighborhoods and communities, providing jobs and culturally
relevant goods. In a climate where small businesses routinely face displacement, vendors are
among the most vulnerable. Vendors do not have brick and mortar shops for the same reasons
many brick and mortar businesses are closing: high cost of rents, gentrification, and harassment.
New York’s small businesses and vendors need robust and strong protections to ensure their
success. Lifting the caps on permits for street vendors is a necessary part of a larger toolkit for
establishing meaningful protections for all small businesses.

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