A Richmond Night Market vendor is calling on the event organizer to provide him a full refund, after COVID-19 postponed the night market indefinitely.
The Richmond News previously reported that a number of vendors — who paid thousands in fees to secure a spot at the popular outdoor event — were frustrated they weren’t getting a full refund from the market.
Meanwhile, the market’s organizer, Raymond Cheung, claimed that the pandemic has also put him in a tough spot. Regardless, he refunded almost all of the rent for May and June to all but two of the 280 vendors.
Kit Choy Loh is one of those vendors still waiting for a refund.
Loh said his family paid $19,400 this February to secure a spot with the event management team.
The market was slated to run from May 8 to Oct. 12 this year, before the pandemic put an abrupt halt to the annual event, leaving the re-opening date up in the air.
Vendors have been given three options: put the money towards reserving a spot for next year; pay a $3,500 administration fee to get their money back; or pay $5,000 for next year’s deposit and $1,000 administration fee.
Loh said none of those options works for him.
“All these choices are given in their favour. We only want to participate in this year’s event, and we signed the contract for this year. If you aren’t providing service for this year, it’s reasonable to ask to get the money back,” said Loh.
Cheung said that his team tried to reach out to Loh’s family many times to give them a partial refund for May and June, but they declined and requested a full refund.
“According to the contract (we signed), if anything unpredictable caused the night market (to be) cancelled or postponed, the management isn’t responsible for giving a refund to these vendors,” said Cheung.
He said the management team also explained to the vendor that the market could open for a short period this year, however, the vendor doesn’t want to participate due to COVID-19 concerns.
“We are in the worst situation right now, we didn’t get any subsidies from the government, and our landlord is chasing us for rent as well and we have zero income. It’s just unbelievable. We tried out best to help them,” Cheung said.