On March 1, Green Street Vault ran into some disappointing road blocks – for us, as well as our customers. We were given Boston City citations for Occupying City Property “without permits.” When Howard and I started this business seven months ago, we had done our due diligence, and made sure we carried all the proper permitting before hitting the streets.
We were initially told all we needed were “Hawker’s and Peddler’s” licenses, so that’s what we have; but according to these City citations we were issued, we’re missing permits… that actually don’t exist within city legislature.
After inquiring further with multiple departments in City Hall, we have discovered that GSV technically operates in a “grey area,” given that our business transactions occur inside the truck, not on the street. The City thus considers GSV to be a “Hawker and Peddler,” grouped with pushcarts selling $5 sunglasses and Roasted Nuts. Not that there is anything wrong with that by any means, we are just clearly a very different business.
So as of March 1, 2012, the City is no longer letting Green Street Vault park in Back Bay or anywhere Downtown until we reach a compromise, because the Back Bay and Downtown areas are a “restricted zone” for Hawkers and Peddlers.
We have been making headway, but are at a standstill with the City. We are patiently waiting and abiding by the City’s laws by vending outside of their “restricted vending zone” until a meeting can be set with City officials to determine our status.
However, we need to get through to the mayor now. We need to let him know that GSV is an innovative local business that the public wants to see stay open; and that Boston is the home of innovative, entrepreneurial businesses supported by our local government.
GSV is a Boston business – we were created in the incubator of Emerson College and our creative concept has been met with tremendous media and consumer enthusiasm, highlighting that the American philosophy of business innovation is alive and well. We are 100% supportive of Mayor Menino’s position for innovation in Boston. Allowing us to continue to do what we do best will only help push the agenda for innovation forward!