OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Several small businesses in the metro came to KFOR with their frustrations and are accusing an Oklahoma City man of taking their money. They say he owes them hundreds of dollars.
Metro business owners told KFOR the owner of the Okie Mercantile at the OKC Outlets put together a small business vendor event at the OKC Fairgrounds back in April. He cancelled the event the day before the big weekend leaving several small businesses high and dry.
“I was really upset just because as a small business owner, we try to make money by investing our own money and then whenever we have such a great opportunity of an event, we get pretty excited, we prepare,” said Vaness Lopez, CEO of Full Moon Sage.
Vanessa Lopez said all of the businesses involved with the small vendor event allegedly paid the owner of the Okie Mercantile, Derek Dorsey, $340 for their booth on the fairgrounds.
They’ve been waiting for a refund promised to them, but the months keep ticking by.
“The day before he just cancelled it, so we just had so much inventory that we spent hours and time and just so much dedication to it. For him to just cancel it, it just wasn’t fair,” said Lopez.
Lopez said she knows of 10 other small business owners who never received their refund after he cancelled the event.
“It turns out that he also owes them money, not just for the vendor event, but because inside his store he had booth rentals so small businesses had their items on display inside his store and they were paying a monthly fee,” said Lopez.
One of those vendors at the Okie Mercantile is Patricia Stevens who is the owner of Trisha’s Treasures Homemade Jewelry.
Stevens said she recently started a small business making jewelry and had a booth along with other businesses inside Dorsey’s store.
“I was kind of expecting that paycheck to be able to pay for some craft shows coming up and I’ve not been able to do so, and I’ve had to let my space go for those shows because I haven’t been able to pay for them,” said Patricia Stevens owner of Trisha’s Treasures Homemade Jewelry.
Stevens claims Derek Dorsey owes her around $170 for merchandise she sold while renting out a space in his store.
“When I went out and closed it down, I asked him about when I can expect my check and he said just after July 4th he was going to get checks out. I still don’t have a check and I cannot get ahold of him,” said Stevens.
Stevens said she’s not alone.
“I have talked to a couple of vendors that were out there, they have not gotten paid either,” said Stevens.
KFOR went to his store at the OKC Outlets. It is closed and is in the process of becoming another retail store.
News 4 attempted to reach Dorsey in many different ways by emailing, texting, messaging on Facebook and even calling. But KFOR has no luck. So, KFOR went to his home.
KFOR spotted someone inside, but they would not answer the door.
KFOR has also been sent several messages by others who are still waiting for their money.
“But I think it’s not fair to be taken advantage of. We all work hard for our money and I think in this type of time, we should really fight back for what we deserve,” said Lopez.
Derek Dorsey has not responded to KFOR yet.
KFOR reached out to the OKC Fairgrounds where the small business vendor event was supposed to take place. He allegedly owes them money too.
A spokesperson told KFOR the following:
- We had a signed contract for the event.
- As a new event, we required full building rent in advance which he paid and subsequently forfeited.
- Move-In was scheduled for 4/20 – we received an email cancelling the event on 4/19 at approximately 11p.
- There was money for equipment and service due at Move-In, which obviously didn’t happen.
- The gentleman still owes us money.