TYSON’S CORNER, Va. (WDVM) — Small businesses in Fairfax County are getting an opportunity of a lifetime — a free storefront in Tyson’s Corner Center.
The mall launched their first ever “DreamStart Competition” to provide free rent and a prize package valued at over $100,000 dollars to select businesses. The goal is to be a launchpad and incubator for a business brand.
The competition attracted 20 applicants, with only 9 being invited back for a “Shark Tank” style pitch competition.
Italian bakery Bisnonna Bakeshop and black-owned children’s brand Garcon Melanine were the grand prize winners. The owners say a storefront in the Tysons shopping center will help attract more clientele.
“For the last two years, we’ve been meeting our customers in a public parking lot so they can grab their cannoli and cookie fix from us. We are just really overwhelmed at the opportunity to open up a storefront sooner than we had expected in such a great location with such great 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 am a new business, I started in November, so I have a following but not too much. Having that brick and mortar store, especially in Tysons…I am definitely going to gain more clientele, and people can learn more about my business,” said Abbington.
The businesses will be opening at the end of August and early September.