MARION, Va. -

Downtown Marion, Virginia has had many empty storefronts, but over the last few months they have worked to fill them with a downtown initiative.

Pop Up Marion was designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs learn how to start their own business, but in the form of a competition.

More than a dozen people participated in an eight-week class with nine finalists pitching ideas for their businesses.

We have learned the program's organizers are already planning to do the program again. "As soon as the holidays are over with, we're gearing up to do another boot camp. We will have another eight-week class and folks interested in opening up another business in Downtown Marion. We look forward to having them in the class," said Downtown Marion Executive Director, Ken Heath.

Holly Thomas of The Herb House and Tosha Harris of Rufflections Pet Grooming were the winners. They were given $5,000 and other prizes to help kick-start their new businesses.