Fri, May 24

Letters: Food trucks good for the economy and the community


The solution to allowing mobile food vendors to operate regularly in Cottonwood is just that - to let them operate. ("New rules being considered for Cottonwood mobile food vendors," September 16). Cities like Los Angeles and Austin have already proven that a vibrant street food culture contributes to a thriving economy - including drawing business to brick-and-mortar restaurants, not away from them.

Food trucks attract foot traffic to commercial districts, which means increased sales and a more vibrant retail-business environment over all.

Not only do food trucks draw consumers, they contribute to the local economy by purchasing products and services from local businesses, along with paying sales taxes and permit fees to cities.

It is not the city's job to control the playing field. It's the city's job to open up the playing field so that entrepreneurs can compete for consumers' business. Cottonwood can only encourage food truck operations and entrepreneurship by limiting any regulation to the provision of clear, narrowly tailored, and outcome-based rules that address actual health and safety issues. These laws should be drafted in clear and easy-to-understand language by which food truck operators may work and thrive.

Through this process, Cottonwood has the opportunity to foster entrepreneurship and grow the local economy. Food trucks give entrepreneurs with big dreams, but only a little capital, a way to start their own food-service businesses.

In many instances, food trucks serve as a stepping stone toward opening a brick-and-mortar space - meaning, not only do food trucks attract business to commercial districts - they also grow new business and create jobs.

Cottonwood entrepreneurs deserve the opportunity to earn an honest living free from government interference, and consumers deserve the opportunity to choose where they buy their food and when - not have this choice made for them.

Kileen Lindgren

Institute for Justice