Senator Enzi’s July Chamber of Commerce Submission
By U.S. Senator Mike Enzi
Families across the state look forward to summers in Wyoming with days of fishing, camping, being outside and going to the local farmer’s market. Walking along the downtown streets or in parks and stopping at the booths makes for a great family outing. Spanning across the state, Wyoming hosts farmer’s markets every week with the help of volunteers and small businesses. These markets are a great time for local businesses to showcase their hard work and for communities to shop locally. Famer’s markets have become a summer staple and offer unique opportunities for small businesses.
National Farmer’s Market Week is Aug. 4-10 this year – a perfect opportunity to support local businesses. There is a lot to celebrate because these markets offer economic opportunities for our towns. The Farmer’s Market Coalition states that markets employ a number of full-time jobs and return more than three times as much of their sales back to the local economy compared to chain competitors. Of course, the town cannot reap these benefits if these local markets are not supported. Some vendors rely on these markets as a primary source of income.
Last year, the Gillette market was highlighted in the 2018 National Farmers Market Week. According to their data, Gillette’s market services more than 500 people on an average market day where visitors have twice as many interactions than at chain grocery stores. They also note that the market supports 20 businesses each week, helping new and small businesses to enter the marketplace. The market is supported by the county and works to support local ranchers, farmers and producers to ensure the area offers high-quality food and products. Although the Gillette market has been around less than a decade, it has provided small businesses in the community new outlets for growth and a place for folks to come together.
From retail to produce, farmer’s markets are a great option for business owners to expand their clientele and engage with their community. The Wyoming Farmer’s Marketing Association is a good place to start if your business is interested in participating. The Wyoming Farmer’s Marketing Association offers workshops, trainings and insurance recommendations to help your business thrive at a market scene. They also offer advice and guidance on how to start a market if your community does not yet have one. Experience a staple of Wyoming summers and visit a farmer’s market near you.