Illegal street vendors overtaking NYC sidewalks, as legit business fights to survive

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Mayhem seems to be a common theme heard from New Yorkers living in a city run by Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Business owners struggling to survive amid pandemic restrictions are forced to fight to make a living in New York City, but illegal street peddlers overtaking large parts of the city appear to be thriving.


That’s according to the New York Post, which said wares being hawked range from live crabs to bras with rhinestones, with the illegal vendors “pulling customers from pandemic-ravaged mom-and-pop shops.”

“Old shoes. Frayed electrical cords. Knock-off Louis Vuitton clutches. Disposable face masks. Mets caps,” the paper reported, as additional products being sold.

As for where, illegal vendors are said to be setting up shop on folding tables and mats rolled out on the ground from Brooklyn to the Bronx, Staten Island and Queens.

“In the Bronx, 149th Street and Fordham Road are hotspots,” the Post noted. “So is Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park and Flushing’s Main Street, especially the few blocks from the Post Office at Sanford Avenue to the 7 Train station at Roosevelt Avenue.”

The article put the number of vendors throughout the city at roughly 20,000, and DianSong Yu of the Flushing Business Improvement District estimated that 90% of them aren’t licensed.

“It’s a very tough time for everybody, we get it,” Yu told the Post. “But we need to be fair to the local merchants who are paying very high rent and taxes. And they’re hurting.”

The 70-year-old husband of a woman who recently bought crabs filled with worms on the street confessed to the paper that he was once an illegal vendor, stressing that it’s now out of control.

“I can understand if you can go out and sell. Why not? But the situation is out of hand – outrageously out of hand,” he said.

Ira Dananberg, owner of a hearing-aid business, Acousticon of Flushing, worries that his customers may not be able to access his business because of the crush of vendors below his shop.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Dananberg said. “People literally have no choice but to walk on top of each other.”

In October, Mayor de Blasio announced The Open Storefronts initiative, which allows businesses that apply to use sidewalks if they maintain 8 ft. of space for pedestrians to pass.

“Here’s an opportunity that’ll reach over 40,000 small businesses in the city and will allow them to sell their wares outdoors right in front of their businesses,” he said.

As for the New York City Council, they tweeted a thank you to essential workers on Christmas Eve — and included street vendors.

Much like Democrats conflate legal and illegal immigration, the thank you made no effort to specify legal vendors.

And just as they do with illegal immigrants, the liberal media is advocating on behalf of illegal vendors, as seen below from Bloomberg.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:


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