In the fall of 2008, the Charlotte City Council approved an ordinance that in effect put the majority of mobile food vendors (Loncheras) out of business or caused them to move to other cities. The ordinance states that a mobile food vendor may not be within 400 feet from a home; must close by 9pm; and may only be in a specific location for no more than 90 days.
Mobile food units are small businesses trying to survive in the current bad economy. In an economic atmosphere where many are out of work, Loncheras employ people locally. As hard-working tax payers who pay for permits to do business, they help stimulate the local economy.
But,the approved ordinance did not fully kill the spirits of these hard-working people.
- In February, a small group started organizing other vendors and their community.
- In March, we launched an online petition on change.org, located at http://bit.ly/fJtUSe
- We have also held several meetings with various council members and other potential allies.
As of today, we have launched a text messaging portion to our online petition and it has been a great success. People have been texting in all day. To sign it, all you have to do is send the words "lunch" or "comida" to 919-924-0946.
Out of their incredible work, Charlotte mobile food vendors have now created their own chapter of Action NC called the Mobile Food Vendors Association or in Spanish, Asosiacion de Loncheras. So far, we have gotten the support of the Latin American Chamber of Commerce, labor, and a small group of Charlotte City Council members. This past Saturday, Mayor Foxx also announced that the Charlotte City Council will now re-open the case and review the ordinance and its effects.
Our membership of lunch truck vendors has now doubled in size and we have close to 500 supporters, via Facebook, twitter, and other social media. Let us all continue to gain momentum and help get these hard working individuals back to work and providing for their families. Let's continue encouraging the Charlotte City Council to support small businesses.