Bill Aims to Cut Red Tape for Mobile Retailers

A new proposal could let mobile vendors and retailers sell their goods without hassles.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Unlike their food truck counterparts, retailers that sell other goods out of mobile units suffer from a lack of standard regulation. Now, one group is trying to change that. Lolita Lopez reports from West Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, August 21, 2014.

    Trying to make it as a local entrepreneur can already tough in Los Angeles, but for some who have taken their businesses on the road, it has become even more of a challenge.

    A new proposal could let mobile vendors and retailers sell their goods without hassles.

    Going from one city to another sometimes means even having to get a business license just for a particular location. So events like neighborhood and artisan markets are almost the only way mobile retailers who don’t sell food can get their products out there

    “It really expands our audience because we are able to reach people who don't just shop downtown,” said Lindsey Vaniman of The Library Store.

    The company’s quirky and mostly educational and all of these products are sold from a bright blue truck at those types of markets.

    The Library Store is the mobile arm of The Library Foundation, a brick and mortar shop. Profits from sales go to LA City libraries.That is, if they aren’t caught up in red tape.

    “We can't park on the streets and sell out of the trucks, so we have to be in a parking lot on private property or at an event,” said Christine Romero, also with The Library Store.

    Unlike their food truck counterparts, there is no standard regulation for mobile retailers. A proposed state bill would allow for one rule to license and regulate these types of vendors and pop up retail shops across California.

    For working mom Paula Carlotto who runs Alegria Bazaar, the legal changes would remove costly hurdles and give her more authority over her own business.

    “You can reach more different places,” she said.

    Vaniman, of The Library Store, seconded her opinion.

    “It would be great to show up at a lunch time food truck meet up and sell for lunch,” she said.

    Bill sponsors have admitted there has been some concern about having no flexibility under one regulation. So a consultant would may be hired to come up with a template cities can agree to.

    The bill goes to the state senate for a vote next week.

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