Public comments for: Amendment of Street Fair Permit Rules

Comments

Comment:
The sole proprietor of a small business, I am a metalsmith and jeweler. I live in Brooklyn. While a percentage of my profits are from commissions, consignments and online sales, I sell much of my work at street festivals. As a vendor, I am deeply concerned about the proposed rules that would reduce the number of events and require that at least 50% of vendors participating in an event have a business or local presence within the same community board where the street festival or single block street festival occurs. These proposals would drastically limit my ability to sell my work in New York City, by effectively limiting my access to street festivals in Manhattan, which draw the largest number of potential customers. Additionally, because many vendors are based in the outer boroughs, including Brooklyn, I would find myself competing with many other vendors for an increasingly limited number of opportunities within my own community (which, by the way, extends beyond the borders of my local community board). Approval of these proposed rules will not guarantee the desired outcomes (increased numbers of street fairs outside of Manhattan, increased participation in street fairs by local businesses). These rules will, however, unfairly hamper the ability of small business owners to expand their businesses which would, by extension, limit sales taxes collected by the city. I therefore strongly ask you to re-consider these proposals, so that the work of this city's artisans and craftspeople continues to be supported and encouraged by providing broad access to sales opportunities throughout the city.
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
Thank you for addressing the real issues many of us local artisans have about the proliferation of street fairs around the city. Too many of these fairs do have inferior, machine-made or commercial products and cheap, unoriginal goods that sully the spirit of what these fairs and markets are supposed to be about. As a local artisan of handmade goods and an active member of a guild of local artisans who have produced handmade-only, local markets for our members in the NYC area for years, I must say, though the thought going in to this amendment is excellent, as stated it will do more harm than good. It will kill genuinely great markets before they even get off the ground. All of us local artists, like you, want more high-quality, local-artisan product events that the city can promote and be proud of, events that will offer residents and tourists alike a special opportunity to support New York City neighborhoods and their creative inhabitants. I think there just needs to be a little more input to make this happen in the way you intend. I hope you will consider changes to this amendment so that some very negative unintended consequences for the artists who the amendment is actually trying to help may be avoided, and so that all affected parties have a chance to add their voices to the rules. Thank you for your time.
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
My name is Claudette Mayer, resident of W. 13th Street. I strongly favor the proposed rule changes to limit the number of street fairs and to encourage more local business participation. While I enjoyed street fairs in the past, recently it seems there are far more of them, blocking traffic, and limiting acces to local businesses.
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
My name is Mark Caserta. I am the Executive Director of the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District. As you know, Park Slope's Fifth Avenue is host to and sponsor of The Fabulous Fifth Avenue Fair, which takes place every year on the Sunday following Mother's Day. As written, here is how the proposed rules would affect The Fabulous Fifth Avenue Fair. We have also provided some recommended changes to help our fair thrive and grow in the future: - 50% of participating vendors have a business or local presence in the Community Board where the festival will be taking place. We believe that this is a good goal for street fairs, however: - Last year The Fabulous Fifth Avenue Fair sold 578 spaces, of which 241 were occupied by local vendors and non-profits. We would need to sell another 50 spots to meet or exceed this 50% rule. This would lead to a significant loss in revenue that we need to help clean and program our street and it would be very difficult thing to do in just one year. In addition, our BID is located in 2 community districts. As written, vendors from the south end of the BID would not count as “local” vendors because they are in Community Board 7. Clearly this is not the case! They ARE local! Also, some of our artists and artisans who come from nearby communities would not count as local either. Should we turn away vendors from Brooklyn Heights, Fort Greene and Sunset Park just to make sure that we meet the 50% threshold? We think not. They are just as local!
Supporting Document:
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
I have lived on East 7th Street in the Cooper Square area of the East Village for more than 40 years. I have seen countless so-called 'street fairs' come and go in the neighborhood and around the city. For the life of me, I can no longer tell one from the other, they are all the same with the same vendors, the same prices--a corporate ripoff devoid of local color or any celebratory relevance. They have become an institutional profit machine for tourists with no relevance to the locale where they are held. I am all in favor of changing the City rules to restrict these so-called festivals or street fairs and mandate the inclusion of local businesses, etc. Finally a City rule I can fully endorse!
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
Proposing new rules for street fair is going to hurt the working middle class. I've been a vendor for 20 yeas, I'm a New Yorker, I pay taxes, raised two children( they are in college now CSI) with the money I made doing street fairs. I live in Staten Island , travel every weekend into the city, I meet so many interesting people not just tourists, but people from the neighborhoods that I vend at, many of these people look forward to seeing me on the weekends not to just buy from me , maybe just to say hello. These proposed rules will hurt us the street vendors, it will change the city in a negative way. Please rethink these rules, and think about how many people depend on street fairs to make a living
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
The proposed changes are the city's way of eliminating the street fairs all together and it's simply unfair. Seven years ago I got starting selling my line of children's clothing at the street fairs and I'm eternally grateful to them. My business has thrived in these 7 years because of the fairs. If the fairs are eliminated because they can't meet requirements such as having 50% of its vendors come from the local community, then I don't know what I'll do. These fairs are my source of income, my family depends on them. The local community doesn't come out, because they don't want to not because the organizers haven't tried getting them out there. As for everyone's complaints about the "generic" merchandise, have you stopped to think that they are small businesses too? I've meet some of the most hardworking and kindest people as fellow vendors at the fairs. We vendors are truly a community. Of course it would be nice to have more variety as well, that's understandable. Organizers such as Clearview offer a discount rate to Arts & Crafts vendors to encourage them to participate. The city should encourage other organizers to do the same instead of these awful proposed changes. Clearview has also come up with the wonderful PopUp NY, I love these fairs! They are making an effort at changing the face of the fairs. The city should work with the organizers, not against them and vendors.
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
This is totally unfair as a vendor as we are trying to make a living ourselves to earn money to support the family with kids without getting any assistant from the government. The rent everywhere in NYC is extremely expense that their is no way we can afford any rent and street fair it the only way to go. Please do not set up this new rule.
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
The new rule goes to wrong direction, because benifits from the proposed Rule is unknow. But the future we can see is that the small business would be decreased ,job position would be decreased and people lose the jobs. and Will it make our communities, New York better? The street fair creates hundard jobs, and make more people have an income to make them a live and pay tax to the State and the Federal. Moreover, diversity products and services in the street fair will be more attractive the people visit the neighbour and improve the awareness of the community and help local business as well.
Agency: SAPO
Comment:
Or Olam has been the sponsor of a Street Fair on Lexington Ave. on the first weekend in August for a number of years. I have sat at the sponsor table, along with other members of my congregation, answering questions of neighborhood residents; tourists; and potential vendors. While the proceeds of sponsorship have helped us defray operations costs of the synagogue, the interaction with the above-mentioned participants has been valuable to all parties. Small businesses in the neighborhood that are open benefit from the additional shoppers. Sunday fairs do not disrupt traffic, as they would during a weekday. Many of the vendors serve food, and most of the restaurants are closed on Sundays. The merchandise sold at the street fair is quite different than that sold in the neighborhood stores on the East Side. I have provided even info regarding Manhattan museums; neighborhood restaurants; entertainment options. Street fairs also give families an opportunity to walk and shop easily at the same time. It would be a mistake to eliminate fairs from Manhattan. The Second Avenue fair was already eliminated because of the construction of the new subway. Businesses have moved because of so much scaffolding in the area, which makes it difficult to walk on the sidewalks. Expensive leases have caused small businesses to move away, and you are leaving Manhattan without small and inexpensive businesses. The fairs compensate to a degree for this lack. You would do better to attend to the quick removal of scaffolding blocking the view of businesses than to eliminate an inexpensive venue for shopping. Case in point is the scaffolding of 310 E. 55th St., adjacent to Or Olam Synagogue. That scaffold has been up for more than 3 years, without work being done! I've contacted every political office in the neighborhood, to no avail!
Agency: SAPO

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