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New Business Expansion Program Looks to Help Street Food Vendors Thrive

Plus, Japanese-Italian restaurant Kimika is offering a shabu-shabu dinner this week

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Indoor Dining Halted At New York City Restaurants Amid Rise In Covid Cases
A new program is looking to help street vendors expand their businesses
Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

New business consultation program looks to help street vendors thrive

New York City’s street food vendors could get another boost thanks to a new business expansion project announced by the Urban Justice Center’s Street Vendor Project (SVP), one of the leading advocacy groups for tens of thousands of vendors in the city. SVP’s Small Business Consultation Program launched this past week, and it’s meant to help members of the group grow their businesses in the coming years.

SVP plans to roll out the program in three phases this year. The first part includes: helping vendors with business compliance as they navigate various rules and learn how to obtain a sales tax ID. Members will also have a chance to learn how to set up online payment accounts like Venmo or Zelle and ways to develop a social media presence on Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms. Open to the more than 2,400 street vendors that make up the Street Vendor Project — the SVP has an annual membership fee of $100 per vendor — the consultations will be offered in English, Spanish, and Mandarin, with plans to include Bengali consultations in the near future as well. The focus for the second and third phases will be announced later this year.

SVP’s consultation program was inspired, in particular, by street food vendor Evelia Coyotzi, who after years of struggling to get a permit, launched her tamale business into one of the most well-known food carts in Corona, Queens. The new program announcement comes on the heels of a historic victory from the street vending community last month after the City Council voted to lift a decades-long cap on new street vending permits.

In other news

— Nolita Japanese-Italian restaurant Kimika is hosting a limited series shabu-shabu dinners (priced at $125 per person) starting this Friday. Japanese wagyu is the focus, and the event was made possible due to a partnership with The Japan Food Product Overseas Promotion Center.

— Upper West Side restaurant Good Enough to Eat turns 40 this year, according to a restaurant spokesperson. The restaurant has added several new menu items, including an Impossible meatloaf sandwich, buttermilk fried quail, and a crispy chicken biscuit sandwich with gochujang.

— Rick Martinez is the latest former Bon Appétit food personality to join Brooklyn-based filmmaker Andrea Rea’s Binging with Babish online culinary universe. Sohla El-Waylly launched a show on the platform last fall.

— There’s a new Mexican pop-up in Williamsburg. Italian restaurant Barano is home to sous-chef Pedro Castillo’s new venture Pedrito’s Mexican Cocina. Diners can expect a variety of quesadillas, tacos, burritos, and more.

— Resy just launched a nationwide Valentine’s Day pizza promotion offering free pies. Among the six participating pizzerias nationwide are Carroll Gardens’ F&F Pizzeria, and Washington Squares, a pizza spinoff from Loring Place’s Dan Kluger. The deal is first come first serve, and reservations to grab the free pizzas went live earlier today for American Express card holders with reservations opening up for the general public tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET.

— Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi has created a snack box for The Goods Mart in Soho. For every $60 box sold, $10 will go to her new foundation Diaspora Rising.

— The Upper West Side’s revamped Old John’s Luncheonette is calling on customers to submit photos of the original establishment. Prizes include a dinner for four at the restaurant.

— Korean-American supermarket chain H Mart has opened a new location in Flushing, at 144-74 Northern Boulevard, at 146th Street.

— Williamsburg brasserie Francie is reopening for indoor dining on February 17, according to owner John Winterman. The restaurant will be open for dinner from Tuesday to Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m.

— Why indeed!