PARK CITY, Utah – On the day the Park Silly Sunday Market was supposed to begin, organizers of the event are confident it will return in 2021.
The weekly seasonal market was canceled this year because of the coronavirus threat.
In an e-mail, organizers said the event will be back on June 6, 2021.
Sunday, instead of sidewalks packed with people ready to open their wallets, the area was quiet as rain drops fell on the empty ground.
The silence is a stark reminder of the economic toll the pandemic is having on communities that rely on tourism and large gatherings.
Friday, Park City community leaders invited Sen. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ben McAdams to take part in a virtual round table discussion on economic recovery.
One major topic of discussion was the Paycheck Protection Program, a key feature of the federal stimulus package that offered loans as an incentive to business owners to keep employees on payroll.
Both Sen. Romney and Rep. McAdams hinted most small businesses will not be required to pay back those loans.
“The intent of Congress, as I understand it from my place, is for these loans to become grants,” Romney said. “Except in circumstances where people did not follow the guidelines.”
McAdams added that he is part of a bipartisan effort to make the program more flexible and easier to navigate.
“I am working on the House side with a few Democrats and Republicans, in calling on streamlining for some of the very small loans,” McAdams said. “Loans less than $350,000.”
Romney predicts another round of stimulus could be passed by the Senate by early August. It could include an extension of federal unemployment benefits.
As communities like Park City begin the process of economic recovery, McAdams said he hopes leaders have learned a lesson from the economic carnage this pandemic has caused, so something like this never happens again.
“It’s a classic example of where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” McAdams said. “We are paying pounds and pounds of cure right now because of our lack of prevention and ability to respond quickly to this pandemic.”
While the Park Silly Sunday Market won’t be happening this year, organizers created an online directory to connect customers to the vendors that usually take part in the event.