PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Holiday shoppers won’t find gifts like the ones found at the Minnreg Flea Market anywhere else.
By purchasing gifts there, especially on Small Business Saturday, they also actually provide support to local small businesses struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic, too.
What You Need To Know
- Saturday marked the second day Minnreg has hosted a flea market
- Businesses that had to close because of COVID can sell items there
- The flea market also provides income to keep Minnreg Hall operating
- Hours for the flea market can be found on Minnreg Hall’s website
“I had to close down due to COVID, so that was like 6-8 weeks. . . ,” Michelle Reich said.
Reich turned to selling crafts after her home daycare business was put on hold during the pandemic.
“It kind of helps support families, friends,” Reich said. “It keeps our economy going.”
This marked only the second weekend so far that Minnreg Hall has hosted a flea market, giving a home to many of the vendors who lost their space when the Mustang and Wagon Wheel flea markets closed unexpectedly a few months ago.
“It made it hard on us because we couldn’t let any of our customers know we weren’t going to be there anymore,” vendor Ken Tobin said.
Tobin sold his jellies and jams at Mustang for more than three decades, and the months in-between were difficult for him, to say the least. As much as he loves selling his jams at the flea market, he also needs to sell them there.
“We’re so thankful…because I need to supplement my income,” Tobin said, choking back tears.
“Luckily, my parents left me a place. Otherwise, I could be on the street.”
The flea market and event like it also help the Minnreg Veterans Association by generating income to keep Minnreg Hall up and running.
Between now and the end of the year, the association will rent Minnreg Hall to any community-based nonprofit organization free of charge.