The Economic Impact of Missoula’s Saturday Markets

Editor’s note: Make It Missoula is collaborating with the Missoula Job Service to help people find local jobs so that they can move home to Missoula or continue to call Missoula home. We’ll be regularly posting both job listings and job hunting and interview advice. Be sure to watch the Make It Missoula Facebook page for new job listing announcements.

By JENNIFER LODINE-CHAFFEY

Missoula is home to three separate and thriving Saturday markets — the Missoula Farmers’ Market, the Clark Fork Market, and the Missoula Saturday Market.

On any given Saturday from May through October, Missoula’s downtown fills with vendors, families shopping for local foods and handmade products, and crowds enjoying live music.

Most people are probably aware of the benefits of eating fresh fruits, meats, and locally-grown vegetables. Others may appreciate the wide variety of artistic skills on display. Few, however, may pause to consider the economic benefits of supporting our local markets.

First, the income made by local artists, farmers, and other vendors directly supports Missoula’s families. Some of these families rely on their incomes from the market to pay their bills, provide for their children, and purchase Missoula commodities.

A recent study estimated that some Missoula vendors make as much as $10,000 to $20,000 a year just through their sales at the markets.

Vendors at Missoula's Saturday Farmers' Market.

Local businesses also benefit from the markets. Many eateries and shops adjacent to the markets see a rise in traffic on Saturday as additional customers visit and make purchases. The markets help to keep Missoula’s downtown vibrant and economically strong.

In addition, the popularity of our markets contributes to the preservation of the outlying rural landscapes and to the beautification of the urban area. Both the continuation of local farms and the improvements to downtown provide Missoulians with jobs.

Finally, buying local reduces the costs of transporting goods and conserves our resources, allowing those funds to stay in our community.

When you buy from the local markets you gain not only access to high quality products, fresh produce, and the friendly ambiance of Missoula, you also help our local economy.

Enjoy the markets this weekend!

******************

Looking for a job in Missoula? Be sure to check out our Missoula Job Listings.  Be sure you “LIKE” the Missoula Job Service Facebook Page for daily post on job opening. You’ll also find Missoula-area information on Job Hunting ResourcesJob Hunting Tips, Job Interview Tips, tips for writing Cover Letters and Resumes.

******************

Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey was born in Missoula and received an MA in History from the University of Montana in 2006. She currently works as an Employment Consultant at the Missoula Job Service, an organization that offers programs and services to assist employers and job seekers alike. Those looking for employment can view job openings on our job board, website, and social media outlets. Employment Consultants provide résumé reviews, conduct practice interviews, and offer skillstesting.

The Job Service also provides a self-service area where job seekers have access to phones, a fax machine, a copier, and computers. Our qualified staff also offers business consulting services, including employee recruitment and retention assistance. Additionally, we provide financial support for businesses looking to train both new and current employees.

We are here to help our community!