We welcome events like the food truck festival currently in full swing next to the international volleyball event at Victoria Park Lake.
Make no mistake: these events are brilliant for Shepparton, building the city’s profile, creating flow-on economic impact for the city and opening up unique options for locals to get involved in.
The view that bringing outside food truck traders into Shepparton undercuts local operators is an interesting one.
On the one hand, Greater Shepparton City Council no doubt has great intentions in bringing these events to Shepparton.
Sure, there is sympathy for some local traders, if they are performing significantly worse across a specific period, clearly flowing from an event taking place.
Any financial hit to bricks and mortar businesses could be the result of a many factors.
And to some degree, the council shouldn’t let the potential for a slower weekend for some city traders thwart their efforts in attracting events to Shepparton.
There is no denying that it appears local traders’ participation in the festival has been minimal.
And it appears the number of businesses approached to take part in what would clearly be a valuable opportunity to trade was minimal.
The council has often spoken about the quality and value of putting top-notch produce and food options at the region’s doorstep front and centre.
One imagines this might have been a perfect opportunity for the council to make sure local operators were brought along for the ride.
We understand this may not be easy, but more effort could surely have been forthcoming.
This all shouldn’t detract from what is from all reports unfolding as a superb event.
We just hope that the council gives local traders every opportunity possible to participate in such a festival in future.
And where no opportunities exist for local participants, we would hope, at the very least, the council would work with local businesses to ensure they can best capitalise on the city’s injection of visitors across the weekend.
For those heading to the volleyball and food trucks this weekend, enjoy!