But a city policy to charge fees of outside vendors who participate in special events sends the wrong message about Patterson’s business climate.
The $25 per-vendor fee may generate about $4,600 annually for the city, but organizers of the annual In-Town Holiday Mall at the Federated Church say it contributed to the decline of that event, and it has hindered the success of the Patterson Farmers Market, as well.
Some craft vendors also say they have bypassed the Patterson Apricot Fiesta in the past and opted to sell their wares at other regional venues, such as the Newman Fall Festival, because of the charges levied in Patterson.
A few thousand dollars might sound like a fair amount of cash for the city, but it’s just a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things, and the detriment to Patterson’s image far outweighs any benefits the city might receive.
Events like the Apricot Fiesta and the farmers market tend to have a multiplier effect, as people who attend them regularly patronize surrounding businesses. While it’s unknown how much money the city receives from sales tax generated through such means, the financial impact should not be dismissed.
Similarly, the In-Town Holiday Mall, which provided an annual venue for vendors to sell gift items and promote themselves, tended to generate business for many of the local participants even after the event was done.
The city should do all it can to promote local events, not hinder them. It’s time for the City Council to revisit this policy and do away with the fees.
After all, these traditions not only enhance community spirit, they also benefit the local economy.