Breaking News
More () »

Soda City vendors worried after Saturday market closes due to coronavirus

Some vendors say they're now only making 10 to 25 percent of what they usually make at Columbia's weekly farmers market.

CAYCE, S.C. — Soda City Market vendors are concerned after the coronavirus forced the Saturday market to close until at least the end of the month.

Soda City Market officials made the call to cancel the weekly Saturday morning event until the end of March. Organizers say the main reason for the decision is to protect both the community and vendors from the coronavirus.

Some vendors like William Hancock are worried about potentially going bankrupt. He owns Lil Duck Kombucha.

"I was scared because Soda City was basically our bread and butter. I really didn't know what we were going to do," said Hancock.

Business owners say Soda City Market is where they make their money so they can provide for their families.

"A lot of local businesses depend on open-air markets because that's their only source of income," explained Hancock.

On Saturday, some vendors went to other locations like 12th Street in Cayce to make a profit.

Carlos Otero, who owns The Hungry Boricua, says some vendors may lose weeks of their salary. He says they may make only 25% of what they usually make at Soda City Market.

"It's a lot of vendors. You're talking about a lot of people who are going to be out of money in their pockets for the next couple of weeks," said Otero. "It's 200-300 vendors in Soda City who will be weakened."

RELATED: Hotels in Columbia feel big impact after coronavirus postpones Masters

Vendors say they hope the coronavirus will soon be subdued so they can get back to business as usual. Some plan on selling at the 12th Street location in Cayce until the Soda City Market reopens.

RELATED: South Carolina colleges, universities take precautions for coronavirus

Before You Leave, Check This Out