Wichita’s NoMar Plaza on the northside could get busier on the weekends, with shopping and Mexican food.
Mercadito Hispano NoMar opens tomorrow and runs every weekend through October.
For the next few months, around 25 Hispanic vendors will sell food, clothing, home accessories and other products.
“A lot of them go to one thing here or one thing there, so to actually bring them together to have a real market here is a great thing,” explained Wichita city councilwoman Cindy Claycomb.
The “mercadito,” or small market, is part of a new pilot program organized by local Hispanic vendors and the City of Wichita.
It aims to teach the vendors how to run a small business.
While the vendors sell their products at the market, the City and Wichita State University’s Small Business Development Center are putting them through classes. Vendors are learning everything from how to get a tax ID number to money management and marketing.
“It gives them a pilot to try out their things and see what’s happening without having to pay monthly leases on a building right now, but some day maybe launching to that,” Claycomb said.
The councilwoman represents Wichita’s District VI, which covers the northside, and said the pilot program can help revitalize the area.
“If you kind of look around this area, it doesn’t have a lot of retail right now,” she said. “There’s some things but there’s a lot of empty storefronts.”
Officials hope the pilot program teaches the vendors about running a small business, possibly leading them to open one in the northside.
Claycomb also added she’d like to see the market become permanent.
The City encourages the community to support the local vendors by visiting the market.
Mercadito Hispano NoMar launches tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. with a fiesta. Vendors will start selling by 3:30 p.m., and a ribbon cutting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The market reopens on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.