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Food Truck Freedom Marches on in North Carolina

There is good news for fans of the Poor Piggy’s BBQ food truck. The town of Carolina Beach, North Carolina has reversed its anticompetitive policy banning food trucks (that aren’t owned by existing restaurants) and will now allow freedom of tacos and gyros to reign.

Our friends at the Institute for Justice, who do an inspiring job fighting for the freedom of people to make a living without government permission, challenged the blinkered policy in Carolina Beach, first producing the video above in August of this year.

After the shift in policy, the IJ team updated the food truck case file to reflect their most recent win, as seen in the video above.

The question of when and where food trucks are allowed has been a major bone of contention in major U.S. cities, with some urban areas exhibiting better judgement than others. Earlier this year, Manhattan Institute researcher Michael Hendrix wrote about the issue in “Food Truck Nation,” a report published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The gold medal for best food truck city went to my charming and eccentric hometown of Portland, Oregon, with Denver and Orlando also garnering high scores.

Despite the closing of my long-time favorite food truck last year, the legal atmosphere in Portland and similar cities is a great example of local policymakers making way for new small business ventures. They have refused to let incumbents—in this case, brick and mortar restaurant owners—rig the system in their favor, as we have seen non-mobile food purveyors try to do in Carolina Beach and many other places.  

Thanks to Competitive Enterprise Institute research associate Cabe Crandall for bringing this development to my attention.