Opinion

Don’t neglect our traders

by
February 05, 2018

Thousands of people flocked to Victoria Park Lake at the weekend, which was a hive of activity for two significant events.

Thousands of people flocked to Victoria Park Lake at the weekend, which was a hive of activity for two significant events.

The Federation Internationale de Volleyball World Tour beach volleyball event was on again for the second consecutive year, while the Shepparton Food Truck Carnival also rolled into town.

Exciting events and fine weather made for a great weekend, but debate continues about the benefits to the region from the food truck event, and whether local traders should be supported more.

The initiative has brought a number of food trucks to Shepparton as part of the Melbourne-based company, but only one local food vendor, Mr Sheppy, is involved in the event.

Several businesses have spoken out to The News about the event and the potential for it to impact upon their trade.

One such cafe owner tells us today that initial estimations show trade to be down by up to 50 per cent during the weekend, with the owner saying she believes it is due to the carnival.

Another, though, said it has not significantly impacted on business at all, while others contacted by The News did not wish to comment.

On the one hand, it is a positive that new events like this are coming to Shepparton and the food truck carnival no doubt provides a unique experience and an interesting day out for families.

Also, it is not a regular event and so any impacts to local traders are likely contained to the one weekend.

But we also sympathise with those impacted by the event — for some it will have a real effect on their trade and they rightly question why local produce is not a great focus.

There is a great opportunity in coming months and years for local operators to be engaged and offered more opportunities to take part in events such as this that would celebrate local people, produce and the region as a whole.

We hope that as these events and opportunities are further developed, our hard-working local people are taken on the journey.

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