Street vendors struggle to survive through the pandemic

ABC News’ Alex Presha looks at how street vendors, many of them immigrants, have worked to keep their livelihoods as the pandemic emptied out city streets.
5:18 | 04/17/21

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Transcript for Street vendors struggle to survive through the pandemic
Well as places slowly start to open and Americans return to some version of the hustle and bustle of before. There is one group of small business owners who are ready for the chaos of the fast paced. Walt street vendors. Alex for Sheikh caught up with some of them the majority of whom are immigrants to discuss what the last thirteen months have been like for them. Walked to a row of street vendors can quickly tell you just how diverse a neighborhood d.s but apart of I've done. The subway luck selling Becky to secured a playoff. The vocal cheering his sentence. Nothing like working for yourself for the sailor first and foremost. This is what I love the news. A painter from the Ivory Coast peddling his artwork. Surrey where do you find inspiration. I know this question. As it is said need every way. I see is beautician in you cited as disputed city and it got me and I mean I see it if its British and everywhere. Hustling to get their hands on the American dream. While being a part of the nation's tapestry this is like your typical art gallery las and I hit it yeah that's my guide today because typed up my god please. God Dunlap create abdic who has them. I don't speak to leave my friend. If I put my you need guy very. They applaud people want to see. Immigrants parts like the work of Shareef momma to come with different colors and backgrounds. They all share one team. Survival. Columbia heights neighborhood of Washington DC is ground zero for the vendor community. It also has one of the highest rates of cool did in the city continue walk me through some of the challenges. That that it's that it's presented. Did get our news these. I kidnapped brush people would do we Ewing got up brushed people. And here in DC the corona virus infection rates among Latinos are far outpacing the overall population. Nearly seven times higher than the rate among whites. This must unlike U about a month many generating museum and again. Like clockwork. A hungry Drobo loyal regulars craving fresh cut mangoes forms around Maria's car. Their conversations periodically interrupted by about metro buses and I went and round here Maria's known as the up way left Columbia heights she says the once lively streets have become McCain to a ghost town. As in England I think that what did collect affiliate of but they invent that your body doesn't mean he'll allow Obama Hillary didn't play him this is backbreaking work and just to make ends meet. Threw cold dark mornings and hot summer months beastie up all night wake up at the crack of dawn and urged the neighborhood. And then saying the journey is still harder for undocumented immigrants like Hector. As told from new funding and there's not much to live what we that is. He gave me an entrepreneurial spirit really they let their let you know many. Name local being hit feel it bears. Ten not clear you that I must prove it's. Fun stuff on media bee champ a bay. Truthfully and let that out millionaire who India and north from. Mohammad RTM represents the fruit cart workers in New York City through their urban justice center's street vendor project if you all of those businesses that they are ill pushing forward during the pandemic. If. Does the popular are equal hats. Our water quality few days a week not all days it used to be beat out all its workers and art. Equal events are looking for other jobs. Just because ending wasn't really hold any. The group lobbies for nearly 20000. Mostly immigrant vendors who sell them cloves and just about everything else in New York. But the pandemic has battered small businesses in this city and among those struggling are the vendors that have lost their number one commodity foot traffic he. Hey he couldn't think morning. Good faith Revere the dollar in government before. The street vendors project is calling for emergency relief for all workers so Morgan Stanley and Robin Hood Foundation have partnered with the street vendors project. To distribute more than two million dollars to thousands of benders in New York. And with cities like DC emerging from endemic lock downs street vending will play a critical role in getting America going again. How is this little community I guess of balls during this. And dammit everybody needs something. That no job black gay got to survive so everybody's got Garvey fifty mid table. Alex for JE EBC news Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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