After taking a hit during the global pandemic and the emergence of online competitors like Amazon and Alibris offering cheaper prices and faster shipping services, the oldest Black bookstore in London almost closed its doors due to financial hardships. However, thanks to the generous donations from the community, New Beacon Books will stay in business.
The bookshop was in jeopardy of closing down after the coronavirus shutdown challenged its financial stability.
In efforts to save the 56-year-old brick and mortar, academic and actor Francesca Gilbert and local entrepreneur Nyasha Fraser Yerro launched a fundraiser hoping to raise $47,738 by Feb. 24 to keep the historic Finsbury Park establishment open. But concerned community members help the two exceed their goal.
Supporters poured in and within one day they achieved their goal. By day two, the pot raised to $103,656. In eight days, the campaign that started on Dec. 30 and ended on Jan. 7, raised a whopping $115,168 from the contributions from 2571 supporters.
The Bookseller stated that hefty contributions were made by novelist David Nicholls and award-winning playwright Patricia Cumper.
The book store posted on social media their appreciation, captioning, “Thank you all so much for the outpouring of love, support, and generous contributions in all forms. It has been truly overwhelming and appreciated. We will have more information soon.”
According to the fundraiser, the store was hit severely during the pandemic and experienced “a marked decrease in footfall and consequent income and overheads have increased.”
Read full story at Atlanta Black Star here.