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Charity shopping event ready to light Vegas’ fire

Fashion Show Mall and the Grand Canal Shoppes inside  The Venetian and Palazzo are gearing up to host the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund’s Super Saturday shopping event Sept. 18-20.

Super Saturday was created in 1998 and has been held annually in the Hamptons, N.Y., and Los Angeles. The three-day event includes retail incentives and activities at a variety of the more than 160 stores and restaurants.

Audra Moran, president and CEO of OCRF, said retailers and restaurants at the Grand Canal Shoppes and Fashion Show mall will donate a percentage of sales in their stores to the organization.

Last year’s events raised more than $4 million for the organization, which seeks to funding ovarian cancer research.

“Las Vegas marks our third event expansion to a city which, much like L.A., is known for its amazing shopping and generous philanthropic community,” Moran said. “We couldn’t think of better venues to help us bring the excitement of Super Saturday to Las Vegas than the Grand Canal Shoppes and Fashion Show.”

Janet LaFevre, senior marketing manager at Fashion Show mall and the Grand Canal Shoppes, said there will be culinary sampling, fashion shows, discounts and retail incentives such as gifts with purchases at both properties.

“We took it as a great sign when so many of our retailers jumped on board to support a good cause,” she said. “It’s an incredibly worthy organization and we look forward to working with them.”

Though this event is the first of its kind in Las Vegas, LaFevre said she’s looking to make it return annually.

“We’re hoping that it’s successful this year so we can annualize it and make it bigger and bigger,” she said. “One of the great things about Fashion Show and the Grand Canal Shoppes is that we’re opening brand new retailers each year so we have the opportunity to grow the event.”

LaFevre said she hopes the event promotes a large piece of Las Vegas’ economy.

“Shopping is an incredible piece of business in Las Vegas,” she said. “We’re ready to ignite the fire for Las Vegas as a shopping destination.”

For more information, visit supersaturday.ocrf.org.

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SBA plans InnovateHER

The U.S. Small Business Administration will launch InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge and Summit in the fall.

The nationwide women’s business competition highlights innovative products and services that help empower the lives of women and their families.

“The SBA is pleased to announce this second round of our InnovateHER Business Challenge, building on the success of our 2015 challenge where we engaged over 100 organizations and reached over 1,000 entrepreneurs across the nation,” SBA administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said in a statement. “We have expanded on our pilot InnovateHER Women’s Business Challenge to include a women’s summit that will make the competition more impactful.”

The summit will kick off with local competitions hosted by universities, accelerators, clusters, scale-up communities, SBA’s resource partners and other organizations.

The SBA is seeking to unearth products or services that have a measurable impact on women and their families, fill a need in the marketplace and have the potential for commercialization. Women control 80 percent of the purchasing power in this country; yet make up less than 5 percent of venture capitalists. This is why SBA is launching the expanded InnovateHER Challenge, which focuses on empowering more women in the investment space and in the innovation space.

Winners of local competitions will advance to the semifinal round. From the semifinalist pool, the SBA will select up to 10 finalists who will be invited to the National InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge and Summit in March in Washington, D.C., during Women’s History Month. The finalists will pitch their products and ideas to a panel of judges and compete for $70,000 in prize money provided by Microsoft.

For more information on the challenge, visit www.sba.gov/innovateHER.

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Pawn Plaza adds two

In anticipation of a fall grand opening, Rick Harrison, owner of the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop and a central figure in the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars,” has added two tenants at Pawn Plaza, his $4 million retail destination.

Pawn Donut & Coffee and Inna Gadda di Pizza will join Rick’s Rollin Smoke BBQ & Tavern, Smoke’s Poutinerie and Rita’s Italian Ice as dining options offered at Pawn Plaza, which will house a variety of retail shops and restaurants in nearly 20 modular cubes.

Both eateries are both owned and operated by 34th Floor Hospitality, whose partners include Ralph Cautela, Olivier Zardoni, Mark Mediana and Oliver Wharton.

“We love Rick and his family and what he is doing for downtown’s exciting revitalization,” Cautela said in a statement. “We believed in this project so much, we created two unique concepts that we think are a great fit for locals and visitors alike.”

Pawn Plaza is at 725 Las Vegas Boulevard South, just south of the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop.

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