As a market stallholder, I anxiously await the reopening of outdoor markets.
However, never once since the outbreak of Coronavirus have markets been mentioned in the restrictions or easing of them. Markets are technically shopping centres. But while shops continue to trade, markets remain closed.
I enquired of three state politicians and was informed it was up to Daniel Andrews. All I could glean from Business Victoria, was that Farmers’ Markets could sell food and drinks provided they were not consumed on the premises. This was to prevent, say, people congregating around coffee vans.
I can appreciate the need to socially distance, but outdoor markets are far healthier than indoor shops as noted by many science experts. It is also easier to remain apart from others outdoors.
Many shops currently trading sell items that can hardly be termed essential supplies. However, the larger megastore owners have greater political clout than humble market stallholders and remain trading unhindered.
It appears market stalls are the “forgotten shops”.
Selling online is also unprofitable due to prohibitive postage expenses. Not a great year so far. First, spring rains washed out many markets, then the bush fires caused cancellations and now this virus.
I guess when we are allowed to eventually trade, it will coincide with a cold and wet winter. Nonetheless, I urge people to return and support your local markets.