black-friday-market-highlights-black-owned-businesses-in-southern-illinois.

Black Friday Market Highlights Black-Owned Businesses In Southern Illinois.

CARBONDALE, Ill. (WSIL) — Gail Woolridge owns GIGI’s Treats out of Brookport, Illinois.

“I try to keep my prices down where people can buy, especially in this inflation and stuff, Woolridge says. I have pecan chocolate pecan clusters, peanut clusters, raisin clusters.”

She visited Carbondale this weekend to sell chocolate products at a Black Friday Market with the Black Chamber of Commerce of Southern Illinois.

“I really enjoy meeting other vendors and also the customers. I have a lot of people that return, you know, once you get your products out there. I get a lot of return customers,” Woolridge said.

She’s one of 17 business owners with stations set up in the University Mall. Elva Liddell is the Financial Secretary for the organization, and she says this is their second time doing the market.

“It’s a way everybody’s indoors. Everybody gets to see all the people that are coming into the mall, and people get to shop locally with the vendors that’s in this area,” Liddell says.

“We just want everybody to come out, have a good time, look at what we offer and pick up something.”

There were candles, spice mixes, and more that people could find, and Calvin Mennyweathers was selling some of his photography.

“It’s good to represent black businesses in the community, black photographers, black artists. I really enjoyed the platform that this chamber has given us to be able to promote ourselves,” Mennyweathers said.

The chamber’s vice president, Nancy Maxwell, shared that having a Black Friday Market made sense.

“It is so people will know about them, know about the products they sell,” Maxwell says. “That’s the whole purpose of the black chamber is to uplift the black businesses, and We are trying to get an equal standing with other businesses.”

Lidell shared that they will have a Black Expo on February 10th at the Carbondale Civic Center, where people can buy from more business owners.

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