By Tim Ryan

In a remarkable development that underscores the vitality of the Hampton Roads retail community, the Retail Alliance has been awarded a $100,000 Virginia Business District Resurgence Grant. Facilitated by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) of Virginia, the grant aims to bolster existing retail ventures in the commercial district of Phoebus.

The initiative is the result of a collaborative partnership between Retail Alliance and Downtown Phoebus Partnership, an entity steered by Hampton Economic Development. The project entails individual business assessments and the provision of mini-implementation grants ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 to five selected businesses. Additionally, a series of three educational workshops will be made available to all businesses within the commercial district.

Jennifer Crittenden, President/CEO of Retail Alliance, stated, “With a history of serving the Hampton Roads region for over 120 years, we have identified a burgeoning need for retail technical assistance. This grant offers us the unique opportunity to pilot a program designed to address these needs, with the ultimate aim of replicating it across other communities.”

The project will commence this October and will run through to October 2024. It will engage a multidisciplinary team of experts, including representatives from Hampton Economic Development, Commonwealth Preservation Group, Consociate Media, Sara Harris Photography, SBDC Hampton Roads, and Angela Knight Consulting. Together, they will conduct a thorough analysis of the customer experience from a multi-channel/omni-channel perspective, providing key recommendations aimed at achieving a seamless customer experience.

This milestone is not merely a standalone accomplishment; rather, it serves as an ecosystem enhancer, setting the stage for subsequent achievements in the region. It embodies a synthesis of professional development, innovation, and collaboration, with community values at its core.

The Retail Alliance continues to stand as a testament to the robust and forward-looking retail environment that Hampton Roads has nurtured over the years. Their receipt of this grant marks a pivotal moment in the advancement of retail innovation within the region.

For more information on Retail Alliance and their ongoing initiatives, please visit [](

This development signals a promising future for the Hampton Roads retail community and stands as a rallying point for further innovation and growth.