BWI Airport and airport mall operator Fraport have launched a program to help Baltimore-area entrepreneurs grow retail businesses at the airport. (Kim Hairston, Baltimore Sun video)
BWI Marshall Airport is expanding a program for retail entrepreneurs and making it permanent, the program's operator, Fraport USA, said Monday.
Fraport, the manager of the airport's retail concessions, and the Maryland Aviation Administration, started LaunchPad as a pilot last year to help local entrepreneurs jump-start businesses that could grow into permanent retailers at the airport.
It started with four micro-businesses selling wares such as accessories, hair and beauty products, herbal teas and women's fashions from kiosks in the airport's terminals. Several of the original retailers will start a second year at the airport.
"This successful pilot opens the door for more local startups and small businesses at the airport," said Brett Kelly, vice president of Fraport Maryland, in an announcement.
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is seeking two or more new local small business owners to join the program. After an application process, the retailers will get 12-month leases for a kiosk along one of the concourses. They also will receive training and sales and marketing support.
Applications are being accepted through Friday, May 11. To apply, visit https://www.launchpadbwi.com.
"LaunchPad gives local startups an opportunity to do business in one fo the region's most dynamic retail environments, exposing their brand to millions of visitors in BWI Marshall Airport," BWI Executive Director Ricky Smith said in the announcement.