Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 8, 2012

Holiday market report released

(Continued)

NIAGARA FALLS —

 
The market was supported with $225,000 from both the city and USA Niagara. Rivers, who promoted the event through his firm, Brix and Co., said in the report that market partners brought in-kind sponsorships in the form of free advertising, remote broadcasts, promotional events, hospitality credits and similar offerings totaling $110,000. Private sponsorships from the likes of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Wegmans and Mount St. Mary's Hospital brought in another $199,025, according to the report.
 
Rivers reported a total of 30 vendor booths were constructed for the market at a total cost of $103,280.35. The units were built by Depew contractors Cortese Brothers Construction.
 
Merchant booths are among the biggest expenses listed on the balance sheet. Other higher-end costs include: advertising/marketing ($103,720.25); concert entertainment ($113,220.78); outdoor ice rink ($148,106.44) and salaries ($108,677.39).
 
The developer notes that "no funds" from the market, including those from the city or the state, were paid to Brix and Co., Rivers or any affiliate that was "not a direct reimbursement for specific expenses that were budgeted, documented and/or verified."
 
The accounts were overseen by Global Spectrum, the company hired by the state to manage events on Old Falls Street, under a memorandum of understanding with the city that placed the company in the position of "escrow supervisor" for the event. The report indicates that Global Spectrum oversaw financial aspects of the public funds put forth to launch the event. It also maintains that the market balance sheet and gross income statement were created and audited by Global Spectrum and the accounting firm Freed Maxick of Buffalo. It also notes that Global performed "several financial tests" from its corporate division as well as through Freed Maxick.
 
The report says a total of 13 evaluations were received from participating vendors, most of them "generally positive," noting that many did point out ways that future markets could be improved. Among the recommended improvements were heaters and a more consistent electricity source for the booths and better overall planning and communication.

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