Merchant Rules

RULES AND REGULATIONS/ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Open March 4th, April 1st, April 15th, May 20th,  October 7th, October 21st, November 18th, December 2nd

RiverMarket office
River.market@ci.monroe.la.us
Phone: (318) 807-1735


Location: 316 S. Grand St. Monroe, LA 71201. Downtown, across from the Ouachita Parish Courthouse

Note: November and December will emphasize a Holiday & Christmas market to attract holiday shoppers.

The Downtown RiverMarket is operated by the City of Monroe and was made possible with funding from the City of Monroe, state funding, Origin Bank, Monroe Civic Center, Monroe-West Monroe Convention & Visitors Bureau, Spherion Staffing,Choice Brands, Downtown Monroe Alliance and Bears Towing. The RiverMarket celebrates the downtown area and the river featuring artisans, food, produce, entertainment, workshops, Kid’s activities and other products offered by merchants.


Vision & Goals:
 

1. To provide fresh, quality food choices including produce and prepared foods.  
2. To provide small family farmers a venue to sell their goods.
3. Provide education on healthy eating and making good food choices.
4. To establish downtown as a shopping and entertainment destination.       
5. To serve as a catalyst for re-investment in the downtown area; a springboard for new development.
6. To attract visitors to the area.
7. To host a RiverMarket that is designed to become the pride of our community.
8. To create entrepreneurial opportunities by providing a launching pad for new entrepreneurs and small businesses. To provide a low-cost storefront, provide advertising, and a shopping environment.
9. To serve as a community gathering place.
10. To provide cultural activities.  
11. To assist with beautification to make the area attractive to visitors.
12. To host a festival that will celebrate downtown and highlight the river as one of our best assets.
 

Steps to Becoming a Merchant:

Mailing Address:

Downtown RiverMarket Office
401 Lea Joyner Expressway
Monroe, LA 71201

RiverMarket office
River.market@ci.monroe.la.us
Phone: (318) 807-1735
 

1. Submit Merchant Application along with one-time Application Fee of $15. Checks & money order payments are accepted. Make payable to City of Monroe, RiverMarket. Mail to the address listed above. Returning merchants do not pay the one-time application fee.

2. Merchandise merchants must send pictures & product description by email (River.market@ci.monroe.la.us) or by mail when submitting application.

3. Wait for approval. An anonymous group of community members assist in reviewing prospective merchants to determine if products meet market standards. Merchants will be contacted regarding approval status & may begin participating at the market once approved. If you have not heard your approval status within a week, call the RiverMarket office at:
(308) 807-1735.

4. Once approved, turn in Rental Fee. To reserve a date & guarantee a place at the market, all rentals must be paid in advance to be included in market layout. Rentals received after Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. will be charged the Last Minute Daily Rental Fee (an additional $20). Payments must be made by prior to the market day on Friday by 4:00pm.

5. Money order or check payments are accepted. Make payable to "City of Monroe, RiverMarket". Payments can be mailed or hand-delivered to the address above.

Rental Details:
 

  • Merchants may rent more than one space upon request if additional space is needed.  
  • Merchant booth locations will be posted online at www.DowntownRiverMarket.com on Friday night before the market opens market opens on Saturday, or merchants can find out locations during merchant load-in by going to the information tent.
  • Cancellations: No refunds will be given for merchant cancellations or no-shows. Merchants are allowed to re-schedule their date ONCE during the market season in case of emergency (with a prior notice deadline of 11:00 a.m. on Friday the day before the market). Any additional re-scheduling, payment will not carry over to a future date. The same merchant location cannot be guaranteed when returning to the market after a cancellation.
  • RiverMarket Staff reserves the right to cancel a merchants' approval, revoke merchant privileges, refuse or evict a merchant at their discretion, with cause, at any time.
  • Weekly rentals are subject to availability. Long-Term rentals (4 consecutive Saturdays in a row) must be paid in full at time of reservation.   
  • $30 fee for all checks returned NSF.
  • Market Day Cancellation: If a market day is cancelled prior to opening, due to events such as inclement weather, a rain check will be issued that will be good for the season. If the market closes during market hours, a rain check list will be made on-site. Merchants must check in with the information tent prior to leaving, to be included on the list. Rain-checks can be used at any time during the season, given space availability. Rain-checks must be turned in at least one-week prior to your new desired market date & merchants are not guaranteed the same space if using a rain check.
 

All Merchants:

  • The market will focus on merchants such as produce, handmade artisan items, fine crafts, unique local items and Louisiana products. It will also serve as a small business incubator for entrepreneurs to test our area for future investment. All merchandise subject to approval.
  • All merchants will have a public profile page on www.DowntownRiverMarket.com in which they will be able to access to add and edit content. On that page, merchants can include product information and picture(s).   

Merchants:
 

1.     Rental consistency and reliability are critical as repeat customers are created by merchants renting booth space over an extended period of time.

2.     Merchants will remain open for the duration of market hours. If a merchant has sold out of stock or has too little stock remaining to merit staying, he/she must obtain permission from the Manager prior to leaving. Merchant must then post a sold out sign.  

3.     Merchants should try to offer enough product volume to sell for the allotted time.

4.     In order for the market to ensure an appropriate product mix, merchants are permitted to sell only items listed on their merchant application. Merchants who wish to introduce new products must contact the RiverMarket Manager to make an amendment to their application.

5.     No counterfeit or knock-off items allowed.

6.     Merchants shall provide all their own materials including chairs, tables and display items.

7.     Vendors shall display name at booth.

8.     All merchants participating shall be responsible for any loss, personal injury, deaths or damage that may be result of merchant negligence. The market is not liable for damage of goods, theft, or weather damage.

9.     All merchants will be loaded and clear of parking lot within one hour of close of market.

10.  Smoking is not permitted in merchant area and is only allowed in designated smoking area.

11.  Conflicts must be brought to the attention of Manager for resolution.

12.  If determined that a merchant has violated any provision of these guidelines, a merchant may receive a warning, temporary suspension or expulsion from the RiverMarket.

13.  To reserve space, all rentals must be paid in advance. If merchant is not present 30 minutes prior to opening, the space may be re-sold or re-assigned. No refunds will be given for no-shows.

14.  No storage of empty boxes on sidewalks.  All walkways and benches must be kept clear.  

15.  Merchants should prepare for windy conditions at the market and secure booth materials as necessary.

16.  Merchants must supply their own all-weather extension cords.

17.  No person renting a space shall be allowed to sell, sublet, or assign space to another merchant.

18.  If merchant booth or cooking demonstration uses electrical facilities or fire, merchant or demonstrator must have an up-to-date fire extinguisher on-hand.

19.  Guidelines subject to change without notice. An updated copy is available upon request.


Tents in Parking Lot

Handmade Artisan & Produce merchants receive priority placement in pavilions. When RiverMarket pavilions are rented to full capacity, merchants can rent space in the parking lot with the option of bringing a tent (not required). If merchants bring a tent, let the RiverMarket Coordinator know tent size.

Total Collective Sales Form: Market Promotion & Economic Impact

For marketing purposes, an annual collective sales total will be calculated to determine the market's economic impact. To help this process, please complete the confidential Total Collective Sales form each week and turn in to the Welcome Table before leaving the market. This confidential information will only be used to calculate the market's total revenue. Your personal information will not be released.

Clean Up

Merchants are responsible for cleaning their area & must bring brooms, trashcans, water or other needed cleaning supplies to keep the market free of debris created by market activity.  Water is available in the central pavilion & in the restrooms. Merchants cannot use public trash cans for disposal & cannot dump waste in the river.

Sales Tax

Merchants are responsible for charging & collecting sales taxes from customers & are required to report all sales to Dept of Taxation & Revenue. Merchants are encouraged to drop off sales tax collected at the Info Booth at the close of the market from 4:00-4:30 pm. Tax packets are available at the info booth or can be emailed to merchants upon request.

Farmers Sales Tax:

Farmers selling directly to consumers are sales tax exempt.  Produce, plants & grass sod being sold by the farmers directly to the consumer are exempt from the 4% state sales tax & the 5.99% city tax. Supplemental products not grown or produced by merchant are subject to 9.99% state & local sales tax.

Artists Sales Tax:

The RiverMarket is located within a Cultural District, so no sales tax should be charged on the sale of original, one-of-a-kind works of art. Artists must complete tax exempt forms (available at the Info booth on market day) & turn in at the Info Booth at the close of the market from 4:00-4:30pm.
 

Download RM Rules & Guidlines PDF

Download RM Application PDF

Download 2017 Art Sales Tax Exemption PDF