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Richmond Night Market at risk of closing without provincial aid amid COVID-19 pandemic

Last Updated Sep 2, 2020 at 8:44 am PDT

Richmond Night Market (Courtesy Richmond Night Market/Facebook)
Summary

Richmond Night Market could shut down next year if it doesn't receive funding from B.C.

Night market's owner says Ministry of Tourism has funding that hasn't been used this year due to pandemic restrictions

The owner says the ministry's $2.5-billion funding is crucial for many seasonal businesses to survive

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) — Seasonal businesses like the Richmond Night Market are at risk of shutting down, a local operator says.

The night market’s owner, Raymond Cheung, says the profits they would have made this year — if the COVID-19 pandemic hadn’t shut down operations — would have gone towards maintaining the 24 acres of land they are leasing.

Without any revenue this year, he says they’re relying on funding from the Ministry of Tourism.

“Our business is more seasonal. Once our season is done or cancelled for the summer, our entire year is over. It’s not like we can reopen in the Christmas or afterwards. So, basically, we have no cash flow until next May. So, this money is really critical for us to survive, our business, until next year.”

Cheung says the ministry is sitting on $2.5 billion in funding, some of which could help businesses like his and others survive.

RELATED VIDEO: Richmond Night Market in need of government aid to survive COVID-19

Cheung explains the market leases the land — which needs to be maintained year-round — for the whole year.

The ministry so far hasn’t made a decision about how the money will be allocated, and Cheung adds many other seasonal businesses are at-risk of not making it to 2021.

“[Seasonal businesses] count on this period from June to September. When the season’s over, they basically have no cash flow and everything is pretty shut down and they need extra money to survive the next year or two,” he adds. “I hope the province will see that our business is very different from others.”

This year would have marked the Richmond Night Market’s 20th anniversary.