Street vending is an integral component of urban economies around the world. It continues to expand as a source of affordable food and beneficial economic activity in developing countries. Street vendors are an integral component of urban economies around the world. Distributors of affordable goods and services, they provide consumers with convenient and accessible retail options and form a vital part of the social and economic life of a city. Street vending as an occupation has existed for hundreds of years (Bromley, 2000) and is considered a cornerstone of many cities’ historical and cultural heritage. The academic literature on street vending commonly treats street vendors broadly as those who sell goods or services in public space. This includes the full length of goods and services, traded on a wholesale or retail basis, in streets and other kinds of related public spaces – including sidewalks, alleyways, and medians. Street vendors may have fixed stalls such as kiosks, semi-fixed stalls like folding tables; they may operate from crates, collapsible stands, or wheeled pushcarts that are moved and stored overnight. Other vendors sell from fixed locations without a stall structure, displaying their merchandise on cloth/plastic sheets; mobile vendors walk or bicycle through the streets as they sell (International Labour Organization, 2002). According to DC Street vendor, street vending began with early entrepreneurs. These street venders profited from those milling around in the public markets purchasing other things. It was very popular and began to become quite common. Venders in current times have much the same philosophy as those from ancient times: take advantage of large gatherings of hungry people. One of the most influential times of history on the street vending business is that of Ancient Rome. During those times, there were many ways people had become aware of public entertainment. One of the ways that people entertained each other and themselves was during popular gatherings of the Roman Coliseum. Spectators would come to see different contests and competitions such as chariot races, sports, and circuses. While some visitors managed to bring their own goodies to eat, others didn’t. This was noticed and before long, tables were set up during competitions to feed and refresh those who were willing to pay. Breads and wines were often offered to those with an empty belly and plenty of money in their pockets. This became quite popular and many were becoming quite wealthy off of these spectators.
Urban population growth has stimulated a rise in the number of street food vendors in many cities throughout the world. Migration from rural areas to urban centres has created a daily need among many working people to eat outside the home. Demand for relatively inexpensive, ready-to-eat food has increased as people, especially women, have less time to prepare meals.
As with any type of business operation, a street vendor must obtain a business license in order to sell in public. In order to secure a street vendor's license, the businessperson usually must comply with standards that would also apply if the business was operating indoors. For example, a vendor selling hot dogs on a street corner would still be held responsible for maintaining health code standards that would apply to any bar and grill that sold hot dogs. Health examiners in street vending have periodic inspections; are generally the one who conducted to make sure the street vendor remains in compliance with current regulations. If the vendor is found to be in violation, there may be a fine and a warning issued. Should the infractions not be corrected within a reasonable period of time, the street vendor's permit can be revoked (Wise Geek).
Street vending can involve the sale of a number of different products. Street food vendors may offer commercially packaged snack items such as candy bars and bags of potato chips. Street...
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