Vernon Farmers Market on the ropes, may be forced to close

Market on the ropes

The Vernon Farmers Market is hoping for some good news.

If not, this Friday could be the last indoor market of the winter season.

Market manager Amanda Fallis says COVID restrictions have led to a significantly reduced number of vendors, which in turn has resulted in "a drastic reduction in customers."

"We had a board meeting a couple of weeks ago and looked at the financials ... without the crafters and artisans, we are losing money each market," Fallis said Wednesday.

"We decided to keep things going and see if we can get the crafters back, depending on what Dr. Bonnie Henry has to say in her next update.

"If the restrictions are continued, strengthened or loosened will determine if we carry on."

Fallis said it's not sounding positive, but she's hoping for some good news.

"Friday could be the last market until the summer season," she said.

Normally, the indoor market season would continue until March at Kal Tire Place.

"If we close down, there goes two months of sales," said Fallis. "This has been a huge blow not just to the crafters and artisans who can't be there, but also to the food and alcohol vendors."

Non-food vendors have been restricted from attending farmers markets across B.C. since the province's Dec. 3 gatherings and events order.

"While 'our non-food/non-essential' vendors have been unable to attend, you've still been able to go to the mall and the big box stores and buy 'non-essentials' there," a post on the market's Facebook page laments.

"We need our full lineup of vendors to run ... these vendors are our friends, maybe even our family. They're our neighbours. They're incredible members of our community."

The market urges locals to contact their MLA and provincial government to allow the non-food vendors to return.

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