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African food market given financial boost

Councillor Farrer presents to Rita Anoma
Councillor Farrer presents to Rita Anoma

An African Caribbean food market in Andover has been given a second cash boost through a Test Valley Borough Council Independent Retailer Grant after opening its doors last year.

Rita Anoma, of Andover, runs Rita’s African Caribbean Food Market in Waterloo Court, next door to her brother’s barbers, Akwaaba Barbershop. Her business specialises in selling Ghanaian, Nigerian and Jamaican foods, as well as goods from South Africa and Cameroon among others.

Rita runs the shop with help from her eldest daughter Erica. The pair welcome customers from Tidworth, Salisbury and Amesbury as well as Andover.

Ward member for Andover St Mary’s, councillor Kevin Farrer said: “Rita’s business is proving incredibly popular in the Andover community and I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to support her efforts with this grant.”

Rita added: “Welcoming people from all over the surrounding area has been lovely and being next door to my brother is fantastic. He recommended I apply for this grant and I’m very glad that he did!”

Recipients of the £1,000 grant receive £500 after three months of trading and a further £500 six months later. To be eligible for the grant, new or existing independent businesses must occupy a town centre ground floor unit which has been vacant for at least one month.

Qualifying businesses include shops, restaurants and cafes. These funds have become available to the community as a consequence of the council’s prudent investments, financial management and use of the New Homes Bonus.

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