SAN DIEGO – Sidewalk vendors will soon need a vendor’s permit through the city of San Diego to operate.

Several vendors have said they agree with the concept of paying for a vending permit and have no problem following the rules. However, many disagree with the portion of the ordinance that asks vendors to not operate in crowded areas for the summer.

“We worry now, we don’t know what will happen in the next days and next week,” said vendor Araceli Laureli.

Laureli started selling masks, hats and paintings from Mexico at Balboa Park two years ago. She started vending when she lost her job because of the pandemic.

“It’s the support for my family, pay my rent, my needs, my food,” Laureli said.

Under a new sidewalk vending ordinance, the City of San Diego is requiring vendors to pay $38 annually for a vending permit by Wednesday June 22. The new ordinance mandates that vendors must follow health and safety regulations in specific areas allowed for vending.

Several vendors at Balboa Park have said they have purchased the vending permit and that the cost isn’t their main concern.

The city will not allow vending in most of Balboa Park starting June 22 and ending in September. The city states that the blocking of vending in “heavy foot traffic areas” is to “keep everyone safe.” The vendors say the areas where they can sell are not frequented enough to make a profit.

“Trust me, all day you maybe see two people,” said Hussain Hamidi, the owner of the San Diego Crystal and Jewlery vendor. “This is the source of income I get. I don’t have any other income to do.”

The ordinance is especially hard as the summer months also bring in the biggest business for the vendors in Balboa Park.

“And that’s the only times people are here buying,” said vendor Dan Kaneshiro. “Right when everyone started to come for summer they are going to ask us to stop selling.”

It will cost the city about $5 million annually on more personnel to enforce the ordinance. Vendors have said park rangers have told them they need to leave under the ordinance. However, some vendors are looking for the city to offer more guidance.

“And if we are asking them stuff about what is going on with the 22, I don’t think they have any information. And they are just trying to say, ‘hey don’t talk to us, go talk to the city, go online,'” Kaneshiro said.

“They have to help us. We need to stay here selling,” Laureli said.

Click HERE to learn more about the city of San Diego sidewalk vending ordinance.