TWEED mayor Barry Longland believes the lack of volunteers to run this year's Murwillumbah Cottage Markets is a sign of the times.
"It's clearly an example of the results of the global financial crisis at a grass roots level," he told My Daily News.
The markets in Knox Park have been held on the first and third Saturday of the month to date and featured produce, plants, food, arts and craft and an array of bric-a-brac.
Organiser Terri Askew headed the team that ran the event, but has not "put her hand up" this year in response to Tweed Shire Council's call for expressions of interest.
"There are a lot of markets around," Cr Longland said.
"People have less disposable income due to the economic situation.
"Add this factor to the difficulty in getting people to hold a stall, and you get a lack of interest."
Cr Longland said it was part of the compounded effect of the economic crisis that is seeing shops close in Murwillumbah.
At last week's general meeting, councillors voted to grant approval to the Tweed Heads Police and Community Youth Club, the Pottsville Beach Neighbourhood Centre and the Lions Club of Kingscliff to operate their markets for the next three years.
Manager of the Pottsville markets, Angela Maxwell said her organisation's market was booming.
"We actually have a waiting list of people wanted to become permanent stall holders," she said.
"But we have an advantage of having very strong community support.
"That's a crucial element for sustainability.
"I'm very pleased that we have approval for the next three years."
Tweed Heads PCYC market manager Barry Hawkes said attendance at the Tweed Heads markets had dropped in the last 18 months.
"It's not drastic," he said.
"But times are pretty bleak everywhere.
"Everyone is looking for a bargain, so you have to have a big variety and low prices."