CLEVELAND — Business owners at West Side Market have been fed up with poor working conditions; now they say they are having to pay for parking after not doing so for years.
On the inside of the West Side Market are dozens of vendors who have sold their products there for years. Outside, you’ll see two parking lots, but neither with a free spot for those businesses.
“You know I pay the city $1,500 a month and I don't have a space to park my car. What am I going to do, call Uber to bring me to work?” said George, a vendor at the market.
West Side Market businesses tell News 5 they have never had to pay for parking in the past. Now it’s $10 a day, which is nearly $160 a month.
George has had his stand for 27 years and tells us free parking has dwindled in the area. Last week he parked where he’s parked for two years now, but was caught by surprise when he found a yellow slip on his dash, and he wasn’t alone.
“We came into work and we parked in the lot because this lot was closed and everyone came to their cars and they had tickets on their cars,” said Jason Scott, explaining that dozens of vendors were ticketed.
Scott is another vendor fighting the same battle, saying it’s a cost that not everyone can afford.
“People don't make a lot of money here as it is. And I feel like they just want to get money from us,” said Scott, calling the situation unfair and disappointing.
“I want to see the management care more about the employees here. The city workers park here for free. So why don't you give the vendors the same amount? They're paying rent every month,” said Scott.
“Some people pay rent and don’t have a place to park their car, some people the city pays them and they have free parking. I can’t understand that,” said George.
But it goes further than that. Both vendors say this just adds to the list of issues at West Side Market, leaving them contemplating their next steps.
“It's to the point where I want to find another job, because even if I worked Downtown somewhere, anywhere that I worked, they wouldn't charge me $10 a day,” said Scott.
News 5 reached out to West Side Market regarding the parking situation and their policy, and they have not responded.
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