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Amazon's HQ2 to lease space to more local small businesses

Social Burger owner Denise Lee says it's "every small business's dream."

Spend just about any time Denise Lee's burger shop and you'll see the name Social Burger fits. She shares hugs and laughs with many of her customers.

"It's kind of the way everything is all the time here," she said in the small Vienna, Virginia shop with about a dozen seats Wednesday.

Soon, Lee could be greeting a whole lot of new customers.
After eight years in business, Social Burger is getting a second location in one of the most talked about second headquarters in the country - Amazon's HQ2.

"I never thought I would ever say, 'See you at HQ2,'" said.

After a year-long competition for a shot at a lease, Wednesday Amazon announced Social Burger will be one of four new local small business to set up shop on the ground floor of its Arlington expansion - which means more customers and more exposure.

"For a small business like mine, like ours, that is born and bred here in Vienna, it is a chance of a lifetime," Lee said. She said she has felt welcome at the behemoth company as a small business owner.

"They weren't looking for massive change or national brands. They wanted to give a small business like mine an opportunity," she said.

Which could mean an opportunity for Social Burger to expand its social impact.

For the past several years, the restaurant has donated 40 hot meals a week to people in need - more than 6,000 total so far.

"You know, you can't really do well without giving back. That's what I personally believe," said Lee, who said her mother instilled that belief.

"To be in that kind of arena where we can grow and obviously be better, I think that's every small business's dream," she said. 

The new Social Burger location should be open in the new HQ2 by next April.

RELATED: Arlington County Board unanimously approves Amazon's helix-shaped HQ tower

RELATED: Amazon investment means more affordable housing in Arlandria. Here's what that means for rent prices

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