The Chicago City Council lifted a decades-old ban on food carts late last week, freeing thousands of food-cart vendors currently operating from the fear of fines or arrest.
Illinois Policy Institute Vice President of Policy Ted Dabrowski released the following statement about the new ordinance: “The City Council did right by food-cart vendors and Chicagoans by voting today to lift the ban on food carts. This ordinance marks an important step toward Chicago becoming a more open, dynamic and prosperous city."
An economic analysis by the nonpartisan institute found that lifting the ban on food carts could generate more than 6,400 new jobs and as much as $8.5 million in local sales tax revenue annually, Dabrowski said.
“During the debate surrounding the ordinance to legalize food carts in Chicago, numerous vendors came out of the shadows to describe the great risks they took just to operate their businesses," Dabrowski said. "Up until this point, thousands of food-cart vendors in the city ran their businesses every day under the threat of fines, arrest or worse. But today, they can operate freely and legally throughout the city. With today’s vote, the City Council gave thousands of Chicago entrepreneurs the opportunity to succeed – and gave all Chicagoans the exciting opportunity to enjoy an array of new culture and cuisine.”