— In a positive sign for the local economy, Middleburg is welcoming several new businesses to town, including a toy store and a candy shop.

The new businesses that are expected to open soon or have recently opened include: Brick and Mortar (a specialty gift shop owned by locals Tara and Ben Wegdam set to open in the old Southern States building), Thistlethwaite Americana (set to open in the former home of Kizmetz), Antiques on Washington Street (now open in the former Julien’s space), Playroom (a toy store owned by locals Michelle McNaughton and Chris Bernard set to open in the space currently occupied by Hastening Antiques, which is relocating to Federal Street), and a candy shop opening in the former Thos. Hays & Son Jewelers spot on S. Madison Street.

“That’s a great new mix of businesses coming to town and very exciting that people want to come here, and we want to share our town with them,” said Punkin Lee, president of the Middleburg Business and Professional Association.

The changes were announced at the MBPA’s virtual Biz Buzz, hosted by Salon Aubrey on April 13. Owner Dwight Grant, who recently celebrated his business’s 10th year in operation, highlighted some lessons he’s learned over the years, including being adaptable to change — first converting his business from a barbershop to a full-service salon and later adapting to all the changes required during the COVID-19 pandemic. (You can watch a video recording of the meeting here.)

“I’m glad that we’ve kept the customer first and that this town is as close and tight-knit as it is,” Grant said.

Other business items of note discussed at the meeting included the Loudoun Innovation Challenge, a program designed “to promote entrepreneurship and business growth by identifying and supporting companies that are developing truly innovative products and services in Loudoun County.” The second-annual competition for entrepreneurs will open for the first round of applications on May 1.

Additionally, the Middleburg Business and Professional Association has extended the deadline for recipe submission until April 30. MBPA members should contact info@visitmiddleburgva.com for more info.

Lee also highlighted Middleburg Marketplace, a project of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, at the meeting. Middleburg Marketplace features more than 40 high-quality vendors and 800 curated, handcrafted items. All marketplace profit is donated to charities and good causes.

Several upcoming events of note were also noted at the meeting, including: