By Margaret Jackson / NewsBreak Denver
(Denver, Colo.) The first three of five local businesses selected to receive startup support through the PopUp Denver program open their doors Friday in vacant storefronts on the 16th Street Mall.
The three businesses will open in a rolling launch from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Tea with Tae will host its grand opening at 5:30 p.m. at 700 16th St. Mall, followed by IEM Designs at 6 p.m. at 640 16th St. Mall and Travel Posters at 6:30 p.m. at 303 16th St. Mall.
Museum for Black Girls and Gallery 16 are the remaining businesses selected for the program.
“The PopUp Denver program made this dream of a physical store a reality much sooner than expected,” Tea with Tae owner Taelor O’Dorisio said. “We couldn’t be more thankful for the PopUp Denver Program and all that it has done to support our small. woman-owned business.”
PopUp Denver businesses don’t pay base rent for their space — only operating expenses — for a minimum of three months. The program’s goal is to provide an on-ramp for entrepreneurs to achieve permanent space on the 16th Street Mall after having the opportunity to build a customer base in the downtown market.
The activations are also expected to represent Denver’s diverse local business community as part of the Downtown Denver Partnership’s broader campaign to “reimagine” downtown.
“Programs like PopUp Denver are crucial in the partnership’s mission to foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that drives the economic opportunity for all,” Downtown Denver Partnership President and CEO Kourtny Garrett said.
“We’re excited to see a diverse base of local businesses get the opportunity to transform 16th Street Mall storefronts and offer unique experiences, flavors and so much more to downtown visitors and residents. These vendors represent the brand and culture of Denver and continue to create a place where people want to be.”