Today might be the last day for the popular downtown eastside market as they have yet to receive funding from the city for 2016.
The city of Vancouver sanctioned the market last summer and gave them enough funding only for 2015.
However almost at the end of January, market coordinator Roland Clarke says they are running on low fumes.
“Right now we are in quite a little bit of a financial crisis because the City of Vancouver is our sole operational founder, the last allocation of funds was made in June 2015, and now actually our funds have run out.”
He says if the market were to close, the impact to the community would be devastating.
“The average vendor in one of our market makes over 80 dollars a day, if you multiple that by the number of vending spaces we have and the fact that it’s seven days a week, our markets right now are responsible for more than $1.6 million dollars of economic activity that goes directly into the hands of the poorest of our neighbourhood.”
He says they need approximately $4,600 dollars to run.
“If you calculate the number of market hours is actually enormous, it represents 150 volunteer shifts and over 500 volunteer hours that we have to manage. And right now everybody works for less than minimum wage.”
Clarke says running the market seven days a week costs about $4,600 dollars, and that is paying volunteers an average of $5 to $6 dollars per hour.