TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas State Fair was supposed to be held Sept. 11-20, however it was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Some businesses use the fairs, festivals and other community events to show off what products they have to sell and to boost revenues.
“The big events that we had last year where we made most of our money in a short amount of time, they all canceled this year,” said RemeBees co-owner, Deon Toy.
Toy’s business makes honey products in Manhattan.
The state department of agriculture program, From the Land of Kansas, is highlighting Kansas businesses like Toy’s that aren’t getting the same chance to show off their products this year.
It’s called the Purple Ribbon Marketplace. It is connecting vendors and customers online.
“They were going to lose a lot of their funds that they would normally make, because some of them, this is the best opportunity for them to make a profit so they’ve been happy with the virtual website,” said Sammy Gleason, marketing coordinator for From the Land of Kansas.
It’s giving Toy a chance to be a part of this year’s unique state fair experience that he might not otherwise get.
“It makes it easier, because for us to take all the time to go down to the Kansas State Fair and leave everybody up here, it’s my wife and I, we don’t have anybody else that helps us, so we can’t be in two different places, so this is a better benefit for the local person, the smaller people,” Toy said.
Supporters said this is a good way to help out fellow Kansans during tough times.
“The money that I make goes right back in the Kansas community, so by going to that, you’re more apt to help your neighbor,” Toy said.
Gleason said it’s good to know where dollars are going.
“I would rather give my money to Kansans rather than Amazon or Walmart because I don’t know them, but I think that shopping and helping Kansans that are struggling right now, and then you also get a great product, because it’s local and it’s homemade,” Gleason said.
The marketplace will last through Sunday. Special state fair deals are being ran throughout the week.