Questions on Cleveland’s new food truck program

While food trucks are growing in popularity (well, the number of the them and the amount of press they receive) in other American cities (like LA and midwestern cities like Milwaukee [warning: poor web design alert], there’s only notable one food truck in Cleveland so far, Dim and Dem Sum.

Cleveland’s city council wants to add more by beginning a program to offer loans to prospective food truck operators. The city of Cleveland’s RFP (request for proposals) is here

Having more food options in the city is great, although the program’s description and RFP is extremely vague, which concerns me on a couple points including:

“the applicant will not operate their cart in association with a national food chain.” What constitutes a national food chain ? I would presume burger king wouldn’t qualify for the program [which is for the best] but does this mean that a company from Columbus or Pittsburgh cannot also have one in Cleveland ?

And more importantly, the RFP does not state whether all food trucks that want to open in Cleveland must apply to this specific program and follow the specific guidelines (that are listed in the RFP) . Since Dim and dem sum has been operating for a few months already, I would hope the city is allowing any food truck to open in the city, as long as they have the correct permits.

Lastly,
This program, as far as I have read, just offers loans [with a stipulation that the cart’s exterior will be designed by CPA (Cleveland Public Art)] and puts the food trucks at 4 different locations around the city [adelbert and euclid, public square, the harbor/voinovich park @ e9th, 14th and euclid]. pg. 2 says the trucks are allowed to rotate, but are they allowed to go anywhere else !? If the trucks are restricted to only those 4 locations, it would eliminate one of the key characteristics of food trucks, actually being mobile.

If you know of any other food trucks, please let me know in the comments.

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