First, they were closed for three weeks due to hail damage; now the Old Bus Depot Markets are closing indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In another cruel blow to Canberra's way of life, the markets will not open this Sunday, March 29, and will remain closed "until further notice".
The markets only re-opened on February 16 after being closed for three weeks as the hail damage was repaired. Many traders had also been affected by the summer's devastating bushfires.
Markets director Anthony Niravong urged people to support the traders online so they could survive and eventually return to the market.
"Our closure is due to Covid-19 cases rising the ACT, along with the subsequent restrictions around crowd numbers and the implementation of social distancing measures across Canberra," he said.
"We've operated for the most part of 25 years in Canberra, with a number of our stallholders trading with us since the very start. We are deeply saddened by the closure and the impact that this is having on our stallholders.
"Many are small businesses that rely on our market to trade. Many have also experienced hardship following the summer bushfires, smoke and closures earlier this year due to hailstorms in the ACT. But we fully understand the possible implications on people's health if we do not temporarily close."
The market will remain closed until further notice.
Mr Niravong said he wanted the traders to get all the support they could so they could survive and return to the markets.
"These are uncertain times and at this point we do not know how long the markets will need to remain closed. We would love it if people can continue to support markets' stallholders by seeking them out online and placing direct orders where possible," he said,
"We need to ensure these businesses survive and can come back again once we reopen.
"Rest assured that the markets' team remains busy behind the scenes to ensure that we are ready to return as soon as we are able, and to ensure that events such as the Canberra Wool Expo in May can go ahead if permitted."
To find out which stallholders have an online presence and may be able to fulfill orders directly, see the Old Bus Depot Markets' Stallholder Directory at obdm.com.au/stallholders/
Stay up to date on the markets' reopening via Facebook or Instagram @oldbusdepotmarkets
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