SELMA, Calif. (KFSN) --A bitter battle over flowers has blossomed in Selma. Frustrated flower shop owners complained unlicensed street vendors were undercutting their business.
The war of the roses heats up on Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. Florists said on those two days, in Selma as well as in many other valley cities, unlicensed street stands siphoned off their profits.
You might not think twice about the flower vendors who set up on sidewalks or in busy shopping centers. But florists like Tamara Garcia of Aurora's Flowers in Selma explained on this holiday - Mexican Mother's Day - unlicensed vendors can easily cost her $8,000 in sales.
Garcia said, "The only problem I have with that is we pay sales taxes, we pay overhead, we pay the light bill, we pay rent and they're just on the corner one or two days, make their money and they leave."
Around the corner from Garcia's shop in downtown Selma was Bloomie's Floral. Co-owner Cheryl Kain shared the frustration. She figured the street vendors can cut into their business by 30% on a busy holiday.
Kain said, "It hurts because we do everything right and then people just show up and try to take over and earn that dime like everybody else. But if you're going to do it do it the correct way that's all we ask."
Selma's city manager said police officers on patrol will often ask flower vendors if they have a business license. If they don't they're told to cease and desist.
One unlicensed vendor said once they're warned by officers they simply just pick up and move to another spot.
Garcia said, "There's like not just one vendor, there's like 6 or 7 courtyard spots and there's like 6-8 ladies selling so it has a big impact on us."
Fresno county was more likely to crack down on unlicensed produce sellers due to quarantine issues rather than flower vendors.
Action News was told some flower vendors will set up in pockets outside city limits or just beyond county lines because they figured authorities there will be less vigilant.