I walked the festival yesterday, paid my $14 for a sausage and pepper hero, ate Zeppoli, listened to music and chatted with friends. Was a nice day and it was fun. BUT was it successful?
Lets define successful for a street fair and how it relates to a BID TAX. To claim success is NOT to take pictures of people eating or the people walking the streets. Successful needs to be how many of our fellow merchants PARTICIPATED and benefited from this fair. Was it worth their yearly dues? Did they make the money back? A BID stands for Business Improvement – hence did the fair IMPROVE our local businesses.
Sadly i think not – facts are important NOT feelings – YES the fair was nice, YES vendors were selling, YES the music was fun – hold a minute – Vendors selling? What Vendors or merchants? If you attended the fair, I want you to think about WHOM actually did you see? MOSTLY I saw OUTSIDE vendors NOT local merchants other than the standard few restaurants.
As i realized this, I snapped pictures and did a store count – What i factually found was interesting.
Less than 1/3 of our fellow merchants participated! A large number of stores and almost entire blocks were closed! What i noticed was OUTSIDE vendors who paid to be on the ave FAR outnumber our local merchants.
The failed merchant association’s inability to collect less than 30% of its dues is reflected in the merchant participation!
We need to ask questions:
- How much does the association charge outside vendors?
- How much does the association MAKE during the fair?
- Why is the participation so low?
- Why would a BID TAX change this?
Lets ask bob these questions and force the answers.