The Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating for Big Issue sellers. The organisation, magazine, website — everything — exists to support people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, are long-term unemployed, or are in need of extra cash to avoid falling into debt. In these unpredictable times, we provide an opportunity for people to earn their own income.
The Big Issue seller on your local high street isn’t earning an hourly wage while they’re standing out there in all weathers.They’re running their own micro-business. They have outgoings and have to turn a profit just like any other enterprise out there.
And again, just like any other workplace, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Vendors buy their magazines from The Big Issue for £1.50 each and sell them to their customers for £3 a time.
From just £3 per week
This Christmas, the magazine is packed with 25 per cent more pages and the cover price has gone up to £4, but the sellers don’t pay any more for it — it’s still £1.50 from our distribution offices across the country.
The coronavirus and ensuing lockdowns have changed the reality for our vendors. Where normally Big Issue sellers would be waiting to greet their customers with a laugh and a smile, hundreds have been unable to go to work.
We’ve done everything we can to support them. For the first time, readers can now buy a subscription to make sure their support is ongoing.