Harassment of new Traders is alive and well at QVM and we must put a stop to it.
Last week we published an article about making it easier for new Traders to conduct business at our market. New Traders are our life blood and particularly important as difficult trading conditions create gaps in our ranks.
That article suggested providing stall facilities that made setting up easier but maybe we have a bigger problem for new Traders and it involves harassment by other Traders.
There is an unfortunate culture amongst some of our Traders that they should be protected from competition. They call up the old stall separation rules which many believe belong in the dinosaur age. The question needs to be asked - is protecting and encouraging new Traders more important than misguided protectionism?
Some Traders are brazen enough to raise the issue direct with the new Trader. Some may not openly engage with the new Trader, but they certainly make their feelings clear by raising complaints.
Imagine being a new Trader in a new environment and receiving this sort of negative response from the Trader community. And make no mistake, this sort of behaviour reflects on all of us unless we make every effort to put a stop to harassment.
Times are tough, and we can understand that Traders are concerned about any impact on their businesses. But we need to get our priorities right. We have a major problem attracting new Traders and that needs attention. The gaps in our market are an eyesore and they have to be filled. Let’s give new Traders our full support. Let's embrace what they can offer our market. As one of our Traders said “If we did lose any business through competition at the moment it would probably be 5% of nothing!” This is about priorities and collectively building a better market.