From the Daily News:
Describing many poorer neighborhoods as food deserts, Bloomberg, Quinn and the Council determined that the city would encourage produce sales via sidewalk vendors. These so-called green carts are now proliferating - along with complaints that many are competing directly with established food markets.
Sung Soo Kim, of the Korean-American Small Business Service Center of New York, says the green carts don't necessarily go to neighborhoods with few shops and fewer fruits and vegetables.
Instead, he contends, vendors set up where customers are - near markets that sell produce on streets with heavy foot traffic. And, since they don't pay rent or other overhead, the carts can undercut the prices at traditional retailers.
Thus, he says, the carts are stealing business without increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables in neighborhoods where they are lacking.
The complaints demand investigation. The city has no business promoting one class of entrepreneur over another - and make no mistake, the city is promoting the green carts by offering low-interest loans to help vendors pay for their 3-by-6-foot carts.
The city also provides grants, through private funding, for workshops on how to choose quality produce, store the goods and promote the business. It even gives out cart-size umbrellas.