With the Las Vegas economy continuing to feel the economic crunch, small businesses, unfortunately, are the ones that suffer the most.
13 Action News reported that some artists would not be able to take part in this month’s First Friday event downtown because they could not afford to pay off-duty Metropolitan Police a hefty $66 per hour for security services so their permit was denied. Some of these smaller groups claim it is the first time they have had any trouble securing permits.
Many of these smaller ventures operate right on the outskirts of the official First Friday area and are very disappointed that they cannot participate and that ultimately their businesses will suffer. Fortunately the organizers with First Friday say they are willing to help, offering a tent at the official event until permit issues can be worked out however it is only temporary solution.
Still it is is continuing concern and quite sad since a number of these smaller business have been present during the First Friday even since its inception and now that it has grown to an estimated crowd of 10,000, they are failing to reap the benefits of their hard work and therefore feel cheated.
One of the affected business says they tried to hire private security and that Metro wanted them to hire Metro officers.
Officer Marcus Martin with Metro says county and city ordinances require all large-scale events like First Friday to have a certain number of security officers per citizen. Event organizers can hire either off-duty Metro officers at $66 an hour, or hire their own licensed and bonded security teams.
Some might question why Security is not provided since the event benefits downtown. Martin says taxpayers should not have to foot the safety bill at an event that now attracts up to 10,000 people.
Let’s hope this situation is resolved so that small businesses have a chance to thrive.
Full Story – KNTV Las Vegas
First Friday website and information