TYSON’S CORNER, Va. (WDVM) – Small businesses in Fairfax County have the opportunity of a lifetime – a free storefront in Tyson’s Corner Center.
The mall launched its first-ever “DreamStart Contest” to offer free rent and a prize package worth over $ 100,000 to selected businesses. The goal is to be a launching pad and incubator for a corporate brand.
The competition attracted 20 applicants, of which only 9 were re-invited for a ‘Shark Tank’ style pitch competition.
Italian bakery Bisnonna Bakeshop and black-owned children’s brand Garcon Melanine were the big winners. The owners say a storefront in the Tysons Mall will help attract more customers.
“For the past two years, we have been meeting our customers in a public parking lot so that they can get their fix of cannoli and cookies at our house. We are really excited for the opportunity to open a storefront earlier than expected in such a great location with such support, ”said Nicole Liberatore, co-owner of Bisnonna Bakeshop.
New business owner Alicia Abbington says the storefront will help expand her new children’s clothing store, Garcon Melanine.
“I’m a new business, I started in November, so I have an audience but not too many. Having this physical store, especially in Tysons… I will definitely gain more customers and people will be able to learn more about my business, ”Abbington said.
The shops will open at the end of August and the beginning of September.