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New West Farmers Market confident to run through summer but future uncertain

Last Updated Jun 27, 2020 at 3:13 pm PDT


The farmers' market in New Westminster is struggling to stay afloat this year

Operating costs have been skyrocketing under the pandemic

NEW WESTMINISTER (CityNews) — The New West Farmers Market is asking the public for donations, as the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on the market’s operational costs.

Every Thursday afternoon, in the spring, dozens of vendors sell local goods to the community in New Westminister’s Tipperary Parks.

But because of the pandemic, the market has been struggling as operating costs increase significantly.

“We’ve been very lucky because New West has worked with us so we haven’t closed any dates due to COVID. We have much less vendors we can accommodate because of that and because of a slow start we’ve had hits to our revenue,” says Lily Nichol from the New West farmers market.

And another part of the high operational costs – is keeping the space safe with things like barriers – and hand sanitizers.

“We are working into reserves right now but we intend to stay open all summer season, and we are seeing what we can support in terms of staffing may be smaller…we’re working with what we have,” Nichol says.

If the market shuts down, vendors says it would impact them greatly.

Ramneek Kingra, a vendor for Mandair Farms, says two markets her business have been included in have already been cancelled.

“So another market would be a huge loss to take,” she says.

Another vendor, Bernd Florin of Bowen Island Herb Salts says, “We rely heavily on farmers markets to engage with customers and sell and we certainly want to see them thrive and continue through COVID and beyond.”

The New West market is accepting donations online, or in-person, and is encouraging everyone to shop locally.