NewBo Evolve vendors upset over not getting paid
The non-profit organization that promotes tourism and convention business in Cedar Rapids went out of existence today. Go Cedar Rapids was 2.3 million dollars in debt following the newbo evolve festival in August.
While the city can recoup its money through hotel - motel taxes, the small, local businesses who did work for NewBo Evolve and never got paid are out of options. Go Cedar Rapids still owes $800,000
Nikki Hynek owns the cosmetic shop Dollup Beauty in Cedar Rapids. Her business provided services during NewBo Evolve.
She said, "We provided 3 days’ worth of makeup for the local celebrities and the national celebrities that they brought into the festival. So I hired my employees to provide make up services."
She's about $4,000 in the hole from working the NewBo Evolve Festival. "The word furious is an understatement" said Hynek, …”When I pay my employees the money, and I don't get paid that's a loss for my business. $4,000 doesn't seem like a lot for some people, but that's a lot for a small local business that's trying to grow.”
Hynek says she sacrificed a lot to be a part of NewBO Evolve. "Weekends are a big time for us,” she added. “We didn't take weddings to do bridal makeup during that business, so not only am I out of the $3,900 that I have to pay my employees, we had loss of income during that weekend.”
Cedar Ridge Distillery in Swisher was also a vendor for the festival. Owner Jeff Quint says it cost them $15,000.
Quint said, "I think in retrospect you know a couple of things probably happen, they bit off more than they could chew, they tried to get too big, too fast."
While he's open to being a part of future festivals Hynek isn't sure. "I would say that doing work for any type of organization connected to the city.” Hynek explained. “I felt very secure in doing that. I would absolutely be very hesitant to ever do work for the city, or anything related to it again."
Hynek says they are looking into what they can do legally. Quint says he probably won't go after his cash.