Portland Saturday Market closed after this weekend due to COVID-19

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The Portland Saturday Market usually runs through December, but for the first time ever, it's closing up early.

The market says the COVID-19 pandemic's economic impact is to blame, and with more social distancing, there are fewer vendors, which means less money. That's why this weekend will be the market's last for 2020.

The Saturday Market reopened in late June with larger aisles, no seating, and lot of hand sanitizer.

Howie Bierbaum, the market's executive director, says the events have been more intimate since their COVID-19 reopening.

"It's just been smaller, and more intimate in some ways," Bierbaum said. "I think as an organization that's been around 47 years we were pretty darn resilient and did a pretty good job with the lemons we were given."

With October approaching, the Saturday Market was expecting fewer customers, but the same fixed expenses.

"We thought the best tactic would be to pause, reorganize, and come back stronger next year," Bierbaum said

Now, the goal is to get the word out to shoppers that this weekend is the last, for now.

"I feel like the market is a Portland institution and an integral part of downtown, and our survival is not only good for the city, it's good for tourism and good for small business - we represent over 200 small businesses," Bierbaum said. "All in all, we'll be back and in a good position to be open next spring."

Bierbaum says a sizeable grant from the Oregon Cultural Trust and the Federal Relief Program is insuring that the market will return in 2021.  He says he's just not sure yet if that will be in March, April, or May.

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(5) comments

Erik Erlow Eeckhart

Open in late June and have much smaller crowds. Hmm, that's about 100 days ago, the same time the riots started. Hmm, any coincidence that's why people are not going downtown?

Mr Q

I listened to the interview.... there was the loss from covid19 shutdown and the smaller venues When allowed to reopen partially to blame.... however the final decision was lack of customers because people were not coming out due to being afraid of getting caught up in the Daily civil unrest and random violence due to the riots and protests

commentor

'Last call, for now: Portland Saturday Market closed after this weekend due to COVID-19' No, closed after this weekend due to politics.

Tony

More than likely closing early has all to do with not many people are visiting due to put into fear by local politicians with fear mongering over a minor fear. Market made small profit, now they're closing to keep in the green before loosing out in the end.

ORChick

That's exactly what I'm thinking too.

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