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Trump merchandise stand shows the importance of business licenses for sidewalk vendors

Posted at 9:52 AM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 12:52:34-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A group from Orange County is selling President Donald Trump merchandise in Bakersfield and they told 23ABC that they are here to support President Trump voters.

23ABC posted a picture of the stand on the 23ABC Facebook page and have received quite a few comments from residents in the community. Many asked if they had a permit, while others referenced a previous story of a teenage girl who was cited for selling flowers on a corner in Bakersfield.

So the question 23ABC had: what is the difference between the group selling merchandise and the girl selling flowers?

23ABC did a story in August regarding a 16-year-old girl who was given a ticket by Bakersfield police for selling flowers near Harris and Gosford roads. The girl said she was trying to save up money to go to school. The city said she did not have a permit and was not within an approved area.

The difference according to the City of Bakersfield is that the Trump vendor obtained a permit before selling on the sidewalk.

The city said all street vendors are required to have a business permit and operate businesses within approved areas. On Thursday, the city confirmed that this Trump stand does have the proper permits.

To obtain a business license, residents can go to the City of Bakersfield's website where you can fill out a business license application. The city says the whole process usually only takes a couple of hours.

"For one it helps us track them and verify that they've followed the rules, are up-to-date on their permitting and their fees so that we can verify that they have done all of that stuff," explained Joe Conroy, public information officer for the City of Bakersfield. "And also when you do this there are things in the paperwork explain what you can and can't do and what is allowed, and so that helps you stay safe as well if say you were going to be a sidewalk vendor."

Some of these guidelines include not blocking roads or crosswalks, as well as staying out of the streets for safety reasons.

The city encourages anyone who believes that a vendor or stand is being unsafe or might be doing something wrong, to contact the code enforcement number at 326-3712.