BRIXTON IS known as a popular shopping destination for members of the African Caribbean community but on Saturday 8 December it wasn’t the market or the high street that shoppers that many chose to do their shopping, it was Lambeth Town Hall for The Voice newspaper’s Black Business Fair.
The Voice, Britain’s top black weekly newspaper, which has served the African and Caribbean community for more than 36 years, organised the fair as a demonstration of its continued commitment to supporting black-owned businesses.
Around 1,000 people gathered in the town hall between 10am and 6pm to shop from a diverse range of around 60 businesses and entrepreneurs.
Shoppers came in their droves to support the community and pick up high quality unique products. There was everything from black dolls and books for children, natural hair care and skincare products to authentic African-inspired clothing and Caribbean food and drink to choose from.
Candice, who came to shop at the fair, said: “I heard about the fair online and I wanted to come and support the black businesses.”
For many, the highly-anticipated fair was a highlight of the Town Hall event calendar.
Cllr Donatus Anyanwu said: “Having a business fair in Brixton, particularly the town hall, demonstrates the importance of our community having a place they can call home. I think this is the best thing, for me, that has happened in the Town Hall for many years.”
Charlotte Francis, the woman behind Biankha and Friends, a black doll and animation company, was one of the exhibitors at the Voice Black Business Fair. She said: “It’s so important to have events like this because finding black-owned businesses can sometimes be quite difficult.”
She added: “It’s so important to have events like this because finding black-owned businesses can sometimes be quite difficult so having them all in the same space, the same room at one time means you can come out and support your community without it being too difficult.”
Neneh, Change Nigeria Project, also had a stand at the fair. She said: “It’s been very interesting and there’s been a lot of people here. The turnout has been great and a lot of people were interested in knowing more and wanting to actually help.”
George Ruddock, managing editor of The Voice newspaper, said: “The first Voice Black Business Fair has been incredible. We’re in a unique position to provide this sort of platform to black business owners and entrepreneurs and it’s been wonderful to see so many people come out to support the community through buying from black-owned businesses.
“Many people have already been asking when the next one will be – so they’ll be happy to know it will be back even bigger and better next year.”