The Pushcart Fund

What is the Pushcart Fund?
A special collaboration between the Street Vendor Project, a vendor organization, and the Business Center for New Americans, an established small business loan and training provider.

Who will it give loans to?
New York City street vendors who need capital to sustain or grow their small businesses. Many vendors need loans to buy new pushcarts or stock up on merchandise. Others need loans to pay their fines and renew their licenses so they can stay in business.

Why can’t vendors get loans from other places?
Our experience is that vendors have no credit or poor credit due to fines payable to the city recorded on their credit reports. These two issues count as poor credit for loan approval purposes. As a result, it is impossible for many vendors to get loans, even from microfinance organizations.

What will be size of the loans? How much interest will be charged?
The maximum loan size will be $2,000. We predict the average loan size will be $1,500. The interest rate will be 10%, which we estimate will make up for loan losses the fund may experience.

How much money is in the Pushcart Fund? How many vendors will you give loans to?
The Pushcart Fund was funded with $20,000 of seed capital. We need another $10,000 to meet our goal of $30,000. With that, we will be able to provide 15-20 loans to NYC street vendors during the first year.

What will happen to my money when vendors repay it?
Your donation will be recycled back into the Pushcart Fund and relent to other vendors.

Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes. Both the Urban Justice Center and the Business Center for New Americans are tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations.

What else will I receive?
Apart from a tax-deduction and knowledge that you are helping a street vendor, all donors of $20 or more will receive a personal thank you message from the loan recipient who receives your donation.