Penticton's community market is cancelled but vendors can't get all their fees back - InfoNews

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Penticton's community market is cancelled but vendors can't get all their fees back

Downtown community market vendors are only being offered a 50 per cent refund following cancellation of this year's Penticton Downtown Community Market by the Downtown Penticton Association.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Downtown Penticton Association Facebook page
April 28, 2020 - 3:35 PM

This year’s Downtown Penticton Association community market is cancelled but vendors are only being offered a return of half of their vendors’ fees.

The association announced late last week it was suspending this year’s market due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and one vendor who spoke to said vendors could be out between $425 to $1,600.

Downtown Penticton Association executive director Lynn Allin said her board of directors are considering an increase on that refund but the association has already incurred a number of expenses prior to the first edition of the 2020 market, which was slated to get underway this coming weekend.

“We don’t collect the money to sit on it and wait until the market opens, we actually use it to prepare for the market. There’s insurance, rent, wages and advertising we can’t get back,” Allin says. “It’s a long process. The market ends in September and we’re working on next year’s market in October, so my marketing manager is on all year. As of now we’ve paid our costs. What’s left over will be challenging enough, but after a long and arduous board conversation, we are able to provide a 50 per cent return for our vendors."

Allin says nothing is off the table yet. The board is meeting again tonight, April 28, to discuss how to handle some higher fees paid by some vendors.

“We hope to have something positive to bring forward after tonight’s meeting,” she says. “We wish people had faith we are trying to look after everyone, and the organization itself. All these decisions affect everybody, and we’re trying to assist any way we can.”

A vendor requesting anonymity said she urged full refunds.

“Many of these vendors are struggling in the COVID-19 crisis and may not financially recover, leading to closures of countless local businesses,” the vendor said.

A vendor leasing a standard 10 by 10 space would have paid $850 for the market’s expected run of 22 Saturdays this season. But some vendors have larger booths and pay as much as $3,200.

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