BMA extends permits for street vendors to 2 years for stability

PHOTO: Bangkok street vendors can new get 2 year permits. (via Flickr Matt Mangum)

A Bangkok Metropolitan Administration committee has decided to extend street vendor permits from 1 year to 2 years in order to ease the burdens on small businesses as they begin the long road to recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. Bangkok’s Deputy Governor made the announcement, explaining that the BMA and other related agencies will work together in the short-term to manage public spaces for street vendors for now.

City Hall is expected to provide some clarification in the long term. The aim is to focus on small business operators while also taking into account locations’ communal and cultural needs in order to more clearly designate specific areas that vendors are allowed to set up in. Officials will consider the needs of the local population as well as actions that will aid in promoting tourism.

The extension to the length of permits to 2 years eases some of the stress on street vendors and also saves money as it cuts down on the number of required health check-ups for renewing permits.

During the Covid-19 pandemic that has flattened business for so many shops, restaurants and food service vendors have been especially affected by lockdowns, curfews, and the elimination of in-person dining for long stretches of time. Street vendors have seen a sharp decline in customers and income.

The government has launched numerous incentives and financial assistance to aid restaurants and the food service industry in hopes of boosting spending and stabilising the economy. Restaurants have spent months with capacity limits that greatly reduce their possible income, and most dining and food establishments are struggling to survive.

The 50:50 program where customers pay 50% of food purchases with the government picking up the other half of the bill has been essential in keeping customers coming and keeping food vendors afloat.

But the assistance can’t last forever and the government is looking for ways to bring long-term economic stability and build confidence for the local vendors. The announcement from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration committee is hoping that the 2-year permits will help bring a bit of this stability.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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