Someone from the press was writing an article about the Market and asked me how the current economic situations were affecting us.
This is my take on it so far…
The economy doesn't seem to be hurting farmers' markets across the state. The Seattle Neighborhood Farmers' Market Association operates 2 year round urban markets that saw a large increase in sales this winter from last winter. 25 markets in the state got a grant from the Local Farms Healthy Kids bill to accept food stamps and credit and debit cards at their market. This is also a big draw to markets despite the economic challenges. 5 of the markets that got the grant funding are located in Spokane County. The Liberty Lake Farmers' Market didn't apply for the grant funding because of the additional staffing needed to facilitate such a program, but we are encouraging our vendors to look into credit and debit options for their businesses.
think the economic uncertainty poses a threat for the Market. People are
staying closer to home and enjoy visiting with their neighbors and the
atmosphere that the Market offers. Part of the Market's vision statement says
this, "We believe there is benefit from spending money and time within
one's own community rather than exporting value to the outside." Our
customers also generally have the same mindset. The Market is a wholesome
gathering place that helps to create and enhance the culture of Liberty Lake. The Market has a lot of good
things that make it appealing to customers. Live music every Saturday is one of
those things and it starts with a bang, the Greenacres Elementary Marimba band
on opening day. Good parking is another one of those things. We have had a good
relationship with STA since the Market started and between the STA parking and
parking at local businesses customers that are coming by car don't have to
worry about a high-stress situation when finding a parking space or a dangerous
situation when unloading their kids into strollers. We also put out tables and
chairs for our customers which are a great perk. The Adirondack
chairs were a big hit last year and we have already purchased more for this
We are committed to add value to our local community through economic development. The Market is a type of small business incubator. Just what we need in times of economic uncertainty.