Big Issue North’s vendors will start resuming street sales of the magazine from today (15 June), armed with card readers, PPE and sanitiser.
During the lockdown, Big Issue North temporarily paused sales of the magazine to vendors. To enable them to resume selling:
- Vendors will be provided with hand sanitiser and PPE, including a visor, reusable face mask and gloves.
- Vendors will only be able to return to the streets provided they are able to receive contactless card payments, to reduce the risk associated with cash transactions. Big Issue North is providing vendors with card payment machines, bought using public donations, and will work with them to make sure they can operate them.
- Vendors will only sell on a limited number of Big Issue’s agreed pitch locations, where social distancing is possible.
- No vendors who are shielding, or who have members of their household who are, will be able to sell the magazine. These vendors will continue to be able to access Big Issue’s hardship fund.
- Modifications have also been made to the offices from which the vendors buy their magazines, enabling the team to support vendors with appropriate safety measures.
Vendors buy the magazine from Big Issue North for £1.50, and sell it for £3, keeping the profit they make.
While vendors gradually return to work, Big Issue North will still be sold in stores, including Sainsbury’s, McColl’s, Co-Op, Asda, One Stop, Morrisons, Waitrose and Booths, and at issuu.com/bigissuenorth, as well as on the streets.
Big Issue North started in December 1992 as a Manchester supplement within the London-based Big Issue, and has since grown into an independent publication, with close ties to the Big Issue, and distributed in the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber.
The Big Issue’s vendors have also been unable to sell its magazines on the street due to the pandemic. Its initiatives have included launching an app and digital edition, and challenging the public to become ‘Covid Crusaders‘ and to sell the magazine on behalf of its street sellers.
Main image: Big Issue North seller Howard, who will be returning to work in Leeds.
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