Insurance fees limit market vendors

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: January 16 2013 | 11:05 am - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 10:08 am in

As a retiree, with little income to supplement my Social Security, I make crocheted dishcloths, baby bibs, jewelry, aprons and other craft items that have become popular in the area. I registered with the Downtown Farmers Market for a booth. I couldnít believe I was going to have to pay more than $600 for the million-dollar liability insurance thatís required. Along with fees for having a booth, it would cost me nearly $900 to get started.

If I sell $100 worth of merchandise each weekend, Iíd lose more than $100 for the summer, simply for the pleasure of spending all my extra money on materials and all my spare time sewing, crocheting, and making jewelry, essentially, to give them away. How does anybody make money?

What about the summer gardeners and the hobbyists? Wasnít this supposed to be an opportunity to help the little guys? The way I see it, you have to be an established business with insurance already intact before you can even consider it.

Couldnít the city buy a blanket policy and charge vendors a nominal fee for the summer? Surely Cedar Rapids has insurance for large events such as the Freedom Fest and other city-sponsored activities.

Julia Byerly

Cedar Rapids

 

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