ECHO PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Hundreds of street vendors and supporters gathered in Echo Park to call for the city of Los Angeles to start permitting and regulating their business.
While street vendors can often be seen in many public areas of the city, technically the practice remains illegal. Vendors constantly worry that the city will kick them off the sidewalk and confiscate the equipment they use to make a living.
They argued that their sales contribute to the city's economy, generating some 5,000 jobs in the region.
"These entrepreneurs want to be regulated, they want an opportunity to build their business and take care of their families," said Rudy Espinoza with the Leadership for Urban Renewal Network.
Some small business owners remain concerned about the competition from vendors who don't have to follow city rules or pay rent or taxes, even as they crowd sidewalks selling goods in front of established stores.
The Coalition to Save Small Business said it wants to see the vendors regulated, but that they should be limited in scope.
Protesters seeking to legalize street vending in Los Angeles