Shops pop-up downtown for holiday season

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- The deadline has passed for downtown South Bend holiday pop-up shop applications. Store owners had until noon Monday to submit a one-page application.

If selected, the stores will "pop-up" downtown from November 2 until December 29 without paying any rent.

Downtown South Bend received over a dozen applications this year- all hoping to land a spot in one of four open storefronts. The goal of the program: get businesses to stay long-term.  One store that started as a pop-up did just that.

"We applied to be a pop-up last Christmas and it was a wonderful opportunity to test our concept and people loved it," said Mary Labuzienski, partner at Made in Michiana. 

"They loved that we’re local, they loved that its fine and fun art- that variety of things and that let us shine and they did the promotions and things like that," said Labuzienski.

Tamara Nicholl-Smith is a member on the selection committee. She says this is the best year yet for the program. 

“One of the things that makes this year different from the rest is that we’ve done such a good job recruiting businesses through the pop-up shop program and also through highlighting the spaces that we don’t have as many spaces available, said Smith, director of DTSB's downtown recruitment.

"Even across the street the one empty storefront there- there’s a lease signed on it so keep your eye on that store front."  

The winning applicants will be notified by October 15. 


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