The Economic Value of Street Vendor Program report released today estimates the concept – in which vendors sell the magazine for $5 and keep half for themselves – saves tax payers $20,000 per vendor per year in welfare services which the vendors would not otherwise have been able to pay for.
In addition to the $7 million saved in welfare services, the vendor program generates commercial benefits of $3 million from sales of the magazine.
It strikes me this strategy of street-level economic development may have wider implications for pubic and cultural policy. What do you think?
I haven’t been able to find a copy of the report on the web, but I’ve put a request in with The Big Issue for a copy. Hopefully I will be able to profile it here in coming days.