Sunday 6 November 2016

How Pike Place Market Looks After Its Traders.

Pike Place Market is a large public market in Seattle, USA, and it has an interesting way of looking after its traders.

Pike Place is described in Wikipedia as a quasi government authority. It one of the oldest public farmers' markets in the US, comprises a mix of small farmers, crafts people, and general merchants, and is Seattle's most popular tourist attraction.

This is very much a community market. Through a market foundation it assists its low income neighbours by providing a variety of services including health care, childcare, food banks, and accommodation. 

It has assisted farmers during difficult times and the traders have a history of supporting each other through a "pass the hat" type of fundraiser to assist traders in special need. 

Specific examples include the market family whose son was badly injured in a car accident and required assistance during his recovery and the long term busker whose income was declining due to the cashless society and needed some urgent dental treatment.

All those aspects of community assistance have been incorporated under what is called a Market Safety Net which is funded by a variety of inputs including special auctions, "pass the hat" operations, and public donations.

Market expert, David O'Neil, has experience with Pike Place Market and may be able to enlighten us with more detail on this type of community initiative during his visit to QVM later this month.