Chicago’s Inclusive

Economic Powerhouse

About Us

The Street Vendors Association of Chicago (SVAC) fights for an inclusive economy by organizing street vendors to build political and economic power without fear of police harassment, excessive fines, and discrimination. Subsequently, SVAC led the campaign to push Chicago’s City Council to legalize street vending in 2015. SVAC played a crucial role in the passing of the Limited Worker Cooperative Association Act, which enables worker-owned cooperatives to register as business organization in Illinois. SVAC provides a sustainable model and structures for an equitable economy and development in communities experiencing racial wealth divides and active disinvestment.


The mission of this organization is to carry out a network of food vendors in order to improve the quality of life as street vendors, focusing on obtaining better jobs and developing potentials.


Our vision is to maintain the right and justice of street food vendors, lobbying for laws which improve the rights of minority commerce. Building infrastructure services which enable members have a better quality of life, creating and promoting self-employment and productive development; such as well improving health benefits.


Chicago Food Carts


SVAC Members



SVAC Members Meetings Every Wednesday at 11am.

Requirements to

Obtain Street Vendor Training

  • City of Chicago Certificate

    A valid City of Chicago Food Service Sanitation Certificate

  • Proof of Liability Insurance

    Proof of Liability Insurance (minimum coverage $1 million) with Street Vendors Shared Kitchen listed as additional insured.

  • Operating Agreement

    A signed operating agreement with Street Vendor Shared Kitchen (SVAC)

  • Kitchen User License

    A Valid Shared Kitchen User license for your business (short or long term) from the City of Chicago

In the News

Juan Jose Gama Garcia Street Vendor Association Gage Park 072021 C2N
How a Shared Kitchen is Helping a Community of Street Vendors Build Its Future
Joanna Hernandez | wttw   Juan Jose Gama Garcia has been a street vendor in Chicago for 23 years. He sells everything ...
Screen Shot 2020 08 24 at 9.03.53 PM
Street Vendors Association of Chicago (SVAC) is awarded the Lynda J. Tipton Memorial Award for Social Justice
Congrats to the Street Vendors Association of Chicago (SVAC), awardees of the Crossroads Fund Lynda J. Tipton Memorial Award for Social Justice ...
Illinois 14th State to Legally Recognize Worker Cooperatives
New statute will make it easier to launch and grow worker coops by Karen Kahn Illinois Coalition for Cooperative Advancement celebrates passage ...
What is the Future of Food Policy in Chicago?
Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot campaigned on a promise to “Bring in the Light,” positioning herself as a progressive candidate who would uplift all ...
carmen nava
Operar un carrito de tamales con todas las de la ley ha sido un logro, aunque nada sencillo – HOY
Carmen Nava es la primera persona de una cocina comunitaria en ser certificada para vender comida caliente en un carrito ambulante. Operar ...
plate and cutlery
Abren cocina compartida para vendedores ambulantes – TELEMUNDO
Para poder cumplir con los requisitos y obtener una licencia de la ciudad. VER VIDEO
vendor with cucumber
Vendedores ambulantes abren cocina para seguir nuevos reglamentos – HOY
Decenas de vendedores ambulantes de Chicago establecieron una cocina comercial cerca de La Villita con el propósito de cumplir con los requisitos ...

Get Involved


What is a volunteer?

Being a volunteer is someone who donates their time and helps others in various projects, for example in a Cooperative, Organization, Churches or Community Centers.

Our Cooperative (SVAC) welcomes volunteers to:


Also, if you want to learn about cooperatives and other workshops you can join us at SVAC.

Be a SVAC volunteer and help build a future for yourself, your family and community.


Do you want to donate to SVAC? Donations are welcomed and create projects for Chicago vendors sustaining work alternatives, entrepreneurship, as well as contributing to the growth of the community.

Your donations help our members and families create their own businesses or form cooperatives with the community in different branches.

In 2019 the law of cooperatives in the State of Illinois was approved, promoted by cooperative community organizations and SVAC, entering into force on January 1, 2020. Your donation will be of great help to continue promoting cooperatives such as SVAC and other micro-enterprises.


Donate Now

Grant Writers

What are grant writers?

A grant is an economic fund that is received from foundations and written by a grant writer, who is a qualified person to apply for the funds.

The grant writing is important to us in obtaining the necessary financial funds for SVAC. The expertise and good judgment in grant writing will ensure that we obtain these economic subsidies to help us sustain and continue to create projects such as cooperatives or micro-businesses between street vendors and the community.


institute for justice
little villiage community foundation
universidad popular

Governing Board

Augusto Aquino


Juan Gama

Vice President

Ana Galindo


Ines Abarca


Salvador Salas

Board Member

Luis Melendes

Board Member

Pascuala Santa Maria

Board Member

Sonia Ruiz

Board Member

Natividad Rodriguez

Board Member

Contact Us

3654 W 16th st. Chicago, IL 60623

10AM – 5PM Monday – Friday


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