By Alan Bedenko | ArtVoice.com
Today at 2pm, Buffalo’s Food Trucks will be at the Common Council as the city’s legislature debates how the food truck law might be changed. The law sunsets in April and in the past 12 months, not a single complaint has been lodged from any source against any truck.
The trucks, however, find themselves up against some intransigent lawmakers and some brick and mortar restaurants that believe they have the right to regulate and control what the trucks do and how they do it. Also on the agenda is expanding access to downtown Buffalo Place locations and freeing Canalside up to the trucks.
If you enjoy buying food from Buffalo’s food trucks, please come and show your support.
Because in the end, this isn’t about whether or not the law is fair for the trucks or fair for the restaurants – this is about you. This is about you telling the city, the trucks, and the brick & mortars – I like having a choice; I like the product that the trucks offer and I want more access to more trucks – not more restrictive access to fewer trucks. We’ve already lost the Cheesy Chick grilled cheese food truck due in part to the high cost of doing business across multiple municipalities in WNY.
Buffalo charges trucks $1,000 per year, while it costs a restaurant between $175 – 325 per year to hold a take out license. The city claims that it needs to charge trucks $1,000 per year because of the administrative costs involved, yet refuses to release a breakdown of those costs.
Ultimately, it might be time for a regionwide statute that is applicable to all municipalities in Erie County with a single fee paid. You want to encourage and help entrepreneurship in western New York? Then this should be the test case.
But for the time being, please show your support for your favorite food trucks. They need it, and the city’s lawmakers need to understand that this isn’t only about the trucks and the restaurants – it’s about you.