Topic: Press Releases

Be a local LOVEVA and vote for your favorite businesses on the LOVEVA app.

Be a local LOVEVA and vote for your favorite businesses that you use on the LOVEVA app. Voting can be done once per device between April 15th and May 6th. The winner will receive advertising from our generous sponsor ALL NEWS 102, your local radio station, as well as a trophy and banner at our Retailer of the Year Awards. So get voting to get your local faves some love.

LOVEVA Feature on WVEC February 2019

NORFOLK, Va. — “Shop local” campaigns are nothing new – small businesses have had to compete with the big retailers for decades, and here in Hampton Roads it’s no exception.

But a locally powered phone app is connecting consumers to small businesses better than ever before.

It’s called LOVEVA, pronounced love-vah, and while it’s been around a couple of years, it’s now gaining more users thanks to a pretty simple concept.

If you shop or eat a local store or restaurant connected to the app you earn a heart.

When you earn enough hearts, you get deals and discounts in return.

While it sounds like your typical rewards-based program, it’s not.

You can redeem those hearts at any local business in the app, regardless of where you earned the heart.

That includes places that aren’t even in the same city.

The app was created by the non-profit group Retail Alliance out of Norfolk, and hundreds of businesses all over the region are participating.

Instead of trying to compete against the big retailers one on one, small businesses have all banded together to create an entire network of incentivized local shopping.

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Locals Rewarded for Being Loyal to Local

shift your shopping logo

Norfolk, VA: December 27, 2017 – Three local consumers have proven their loyalty to buying local this holiday season, each winning a $100 gift voucher to a local LOVEVA business of their choice in the ‘Shift Your Shopping’ competition. Alice Gay Jenney of Virginia Beach, David Wolfe of Norfolk and Judith Joynes of Hampton were the three winners randomly selected on December 18, 2017.

To be eligible, consumers needed to use the LOVEVA app and shop ten (10) times at LOVEVA participating businesses between November 13th and December 17th. With over 300 Hampton Roads businesses on the app, consumers could stock up on groceries for Christmas, purchase Christmas gifts for loved ones, enjoy a dinner out, and more! The price of purchase didn’t matter. Every purchase using the app resulted in a heart and ten hearts was an entry; simple as that. 5,270 hearts were earned during the campaign period and 724 new local LOVEVA shoppers downloaded the app.

“I love supporting the local businesses in our community, and the fact that an app was developed to encourage everyone to shop locally and get rewarded at the same time is incredibly generous and a win-win for all involved,” raved winner, Alice Gay Jenney. “I would certainly STILL shop locally, but I love using my LOVEVA app and watching my little red hearts add up to a reward of my choice! I have gotten significant discounts at Farm Fresh, The Creative Wedge, and several other local merchants. I recommend everyone SHOP LOCAL and download the LOVEVA app!”

“It is so important to our local communities to shop at a local, independent store this holiday season, and throughout the year,” stated Lisa Renée Jennings, LOVEVA Program Manager. “Buying local keeps local character, increases employment, nurtures a sense of community, and provides a more relaxed, personal and rewarding shopping experience.”

Now in its third year, LOVEVA’s Shift Your Shopping campaign aims to encourage shoppers to buy local throughout the holiday season and be a catalyst to keep it going throughout the year.

For more information about the LOVEVA program or why local matters, please contact Lisa Renée Jennings directly at (757) 965 3000 or email ljennings@retailalliance.com.

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About LOVEVA

Be A Local LOVEVA is a local first program for Hampton Roads. As an arm of the Retail Alliance, we support our local businesses and strive to educate the community about the benefits of eating, giving, hiring, and shopping locally first and foremost. Stronger local businesses mean stronger communities, schools, non-profits, and a more stable and reliable economy.

About Retail Alliance

The Retail Alliance, formerly known as the Retail Merchants Association of Tidewater, is a non-profit trade association serving the interests of local retailers in Greater Hampton Roads. The organization promotes and supports the healthy growth of retail businesses and trade through education, advocacy and member benefits.

Shift Your Shopping 10% to Local this Holiday Season and See the Reward

shift your shopping logo

Norfolk, VA: November 13, 2017 – Shoppers may have good intentions to shop locally at a brick and mortar store during the holiday season, but we know that it takes a little more effort to put that jacket and gloves on and head out there into the crowds.

“It is so important to our local communities to shop at a local, independent store this holiday season, and throughout the year,” declared Lisa Renée Jennings, LOVEVA Program Manager. “Buying local keeps local character, increases employment, nurtures a sense of community, and provides a more relaxed, personal and rewarding shopping experience.”

To give shoppers a bit more incentive to shop locally, Be a Local LOVEVA, Retail Alliance’s buy local program, has launched their Shift Your Shopping competition for the third year in Hampton Roads, running from November 13th through December 17th, 2017. To be eligible, consumers need to make ten purchases during that period and record the purchases using their LOVEVA app.

“The LOVEVA app is playful, flirty and fun, however, we are very serious about teaching consumers how important it is to shop locally and the positive impact that has to our local economy,” continued Jennings. “With over 330 businesses on the app, consumers could do their grocery shopping, purchase a Christmas gift for a friend, have a family dinner out, or buy necessities for a home improvement project. The price of purchase does not matter! Every purchase using the app results in a heart and ten hearts is an entry, simple as that. We want to shift those dollars to locally owned businesses and create more vibrant communities along the way!”

Four (4) winners will be selected at random on December 18, 2017. Winners will receive a $100 gift card to the LOVEVA business of their choice. To be eligible, consumers need to use the LOVEVA app and shop ten (10) times at LOVEVA participating businesses between November 13th and December 17th.

For more information about the “Shift Your Shopping LOVEVA Contest” or why local matters, please contact Lisa Renée Jennings directly at (757) 965 3000 or email ljennings@retailalliance.com.

About LOVEVA
Be A Local LOVEVA is a local first program for Hampton Roads. As an arm of the Retail Alliance, we support our local businesses and strive to educate the community about the benefits of eating, giving, hiring, and shopping locally first and foremost. Stronger local businesses mean stronger communities, schools, non-profits, and a more stable and reliable economy.

About Retail Alliance
The Retail Alliance, formerly known as the Retail Merchants Association of Tidewater, is a non-profit trade association serving the interests of local retailers in Greater Hampton Roads. The organization promotes and supports the healthy growth of retail businesses and trade through education, advocacy and member benefits.

LOVEVA Lane Opening at Harborfest showcasing local businesses

Who: Be A Local LOVEVA Hampton Roads. LOVEVA Lane showcases local LOVEVA businesses including:Adele Diamonds, Care-A-Lot Pet Supply, Dream Vacations, iFLY, Mannino’s Italian Bistro, Nevaeh’s Touch Mobile Spa, Pinot’s Palette, Prince Books, Savor the Olive, Taylor’s Do-it Center, The Creative Wedge, The Store for Stores, Westside Produce & Provisions, Worth the Wait.

What: LOVEVA Lane at Norfolk Harborfest(3 tents dedicated to local businesses)

Where: Harborfest, Town Point Park, Norfolk

When: June 9-11, 2017

Photo Ops: Dedicated LOVEVA Lane (3 tents) showcasing local businesses. Photo op with all vendors and LOVEVA Program Manager, Lisa Renée Jennings

Why: The first of its kind at Harborfest, LOVEVA Lane will showcase small, independent local businesses and giving them an opportunity to shine and reach thousands of people at a regional, if not wider, geographic, consumer event.

About : LOVEVA Retail Alliance connects business owners and shoppers through its buy local program complete with a mobile app and website, LOVEVA. Retail Alliance uses the LOVEVA resource as a way for retailers to work together while rewarding shoppers that make purchases at participating LOVEVA businesses.

We Won a BOB

Thank to all the readers for their support. Downloading the LOVEVA App may seem playful but it is serious business. Keeping our dollars local by shopping at hard working independent stores is community activism at its finest. Every dollar spent locally gets turned around at least three times. That means that the dollar does not go to a corporate office somewhere in the world but goes to support a local advertising campaign which buys t-shirts for a local soccer team which buys them from a local screen printer. Buy local is not just a mantra, it means a great deal to someone you know.

Beyond the Biz

Retail Alliance is connecting business owners and shoppers through its buy local campaign complete with a mobile app and website, LOVEVA. The nonprofit trade association, established in 1903, supports the growth of local retailers and economy by marketing businesses and providing additional services to grow their consumer base. Now, the Retail Alliance is using the LOVEVA resource as a way for retailers to work together while rewarding shoppers that make purchases at participating LOVEVA businesses.

It doesn’t take the most tech-savvy business owner—or user either—to learn how the LOVEVA program works. Retailers listed on the app and on the webpage fit in to its directory based on category of business, each with their own logo, photo, QR code, directions to the business, social media links and information on the types of rewards it has for users. For each purchase at one of over 300 participating LOVEVA businesses in the app, users are rewarded with a heart badge. Once they have collected 10 hearts, they can redeem or share their reward with a friend at any LOVEVA business. Purchases can be as large as a piece of furniture or as small as a cup of coffee, which are each equivalent to one heart. One rewarding example is $20 off a $70 grocery purchase at Farm Fresh, known to be actively involved in the community. In the even bigger picture, shoppers are supporting businesses by keeping money in the local economy.
From a business owner’s perspective, the LOVEVA program gives them access to connect to over 12,500 users, which (to date) have made more than 50,000 transactions through the program. The Retail Alliance takes the program even further with additional educational and training resources it provides for its local businesses. “One of things we do is we have membership directors meeting businesses every day, talking to the people about what they need, what they see, who their customers are, what are their issues,” explains Kylie Sibert, Retail Alliance Vice President of Corporate Communications. “We really connect with them in the community that way.” Membership directors also ensure that owners and the front-end staff are up and running on how to use the app and talk about it with the customers through their on-site training.
LOVEVA also allows for businesses to get their names out to shoppers who would otherwise be unfamiliar with their business and would like to shop somewhere new. Owners can recognize and develop strategies for who their shoppers are and keep them coming to their store by tracking foot traffic with SEO and metrics. Additionally, owners can keep up with customers by using LOVEVA assets such as marketing and advertising when they don’t necessarily have the time for outreach while they grow. LOVEVA Program Manager Lisa Renée Jennings shares, “Because we are powered by Retail Alliance, we can also them special opportunities. We have the buying power to do advertising, so LOVEVA offers spring and fall special advertising campaigns at special prices.”
Offline, stores are also given marketing materials, including point of sale flyers to further enhance their message of buying local to customers. Even at events such as Harborfest, LOVEVA offers its buy local clients a free space inside their tent to show off their stores to the public.

Retail Alliance’s own effort to better businesses through LOVEVA is a continual, long-term investment. They are constantly monitoring feedback from users and businesses to determine what they want the app to become.
“The more businesses invest in the program themselves, the more they get out of it,” Sibert notes. “We’ve found with the businesses that promote in their stores or in their restaurants, who advertise it through social media and do specials with marketing, are the ones that succeed the most in driving that foot traffic, getting new customers and keeping current customers in their doors.”

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