OCTOBER 18 will see the first London Chamber of Commerce Black Excellence Awards. The awards will take place in Boisdale at Canary Wharf and aim to recognize the achievements of the UK’s diverse black community with the specific aim of celebrating the community’s contributions to the economic development and cultural landscape of the UK.
The evening will see various people from this community celebrated and rewarded for their inspiring achievements. Many well-known faces will also be in attendance, including the hosts themselves, popular TV personalities Charlene White and Jay Blades.
The event is fittingly taking place during Black History Month; a month dedicated to celebrating black excellence past and present.
Paula Powell, one of the core team members who organized the event, Paula Powell took the time to talk to The voices Matthew Chadderabout the importance of rewards and what to expect.
MC: Summarize the awards and what are they?
PP: We collaborate with the London Chamber of Commerce (LCC), it is our main sponsor. Boisdale is a Scottish restaurant based in Canary Wharf which organizes the event.
We have different categories in the same type of design as all the other awards, but this one in particular is more designed for presentation at the London Chamber of Commerce.
The LCC wants to reach small businesses belonging to the Afro-Caribbean community, and they want to support them financially while guiding them with business plans and all the tools you need when starting a business.
We have some interesting guests coming up, including Trevor McDonald, who will be receiving a lifetime achievement award. We want to make it as dynamic and different as possible.
We try to have as many interesting characters as possible, the Jackson brothers are also coming. I hope this will encourage people to buy their tickets and come. This interview is in no way about advertising, it is about the London Chamber of Commerce, a way to promote themselves to support small businesses.
Why is this price reduction so important?
The main importance is to show what is out there for business owners and the London Chamber of Commerce, what they do and what they have to offer. It’s going to be a unique and prestigious event that is more open to the base of our community, it’s a bit of my buzzword because I have the impression that we don’t necessarily appreciate these individuals enough.
What kind of prizes will be offered?
Outstanding contribution to literature, fashion, professional services, singers – female and male, and sports.
A particular prize is designed for Jamal Edwards, for whom we are in the process of determining who will win this prize. We’re just trying to find the right candidate.
What kind of people are vying for these awards?
Well, for the literature award, we have a 17-year-old boy who wrote a book.
We mix seniors with juniors because we believe everyone is an expert in their field. Some people who belong to certain categories are not known, we removed them because they are quietly drifting away and doing very good things, but they do not have thousands of subscribers, they have never been to television before.
So yeah, we’re mixing things up because who said someone should win a prize because they’re a household name and we know who they are?
That’s what makes it slightly different from some of the other prizes out there right now.
How was the selection process for the proposed rewards?
The process was a headache! There are brilliant people who do extremely well, if we could award everyone an award we would, but unfortunately that is not the purpose of the awards.
It’s been difficult, but the good thing is that we work with each other, we’re all on the same page.
The awards take place during Black History Month, which is hugely important, right?
We definitely wanted it around Black History Month, it was certainly orchestrated.
Do you have any plans to grow and develop the event?
We are only in the early stages. Next year we can make it a bigger deal, because right now it’s going to be intimate, and it’s beautiful, but I think we can do bigger. We can include more categories that will touch all types of different genres of people who do things there.