Topic: Press Releases

LOVEVA App Gets a Little Help from its Local Friends

June 4, 2019, Hampton Roads, VA – Banding local businesses together across Hampton Roads is not easy, but it has been the aim of the LOVEVA app since 2014. LOVEVA is the unique shopping app that bands together local businesses to reward consumers for keeping their hard-earned dollars in their local community. Consumers can buy at ANY participating business and also redeem at ANY participating business, not just where they have earned their ‘love’.

As the investor behind LOVEVA, Retail Alliance puts their money where their mouth is, partnering with local businesses to develop and continuously improve the LOVEVA app. Two of these businesses stand out for their contributions to the development and ongoing success of the app: TowneBank and TechArk Solutions.

“We endeavor to keep all things local with LOVEVA,” remarked Lisa Renée Jennings, LOVEVA Program Manager. “That encompasses everything from printing to app development. LOVEVA is successful because of our great local partners and businesses who support the program.

“TowneBank is one of our largest supporters, cheerleading and investing in Retail Alliance’s development of the LOVEVA app, from the early stages through to today. We believe, as TowneBank does, in the economic well-being of our community. While LOVEVA is playful with its hearts and love language, we are serious about keeping dollars in Hampton Roads.”

Recently, TowneBank stepped up to sponsor updates to the LOVEVA app, including an area to highlight Buy Local Champions. On the Find A Business and Browse Reward sections of the app, TowneBank now appears as the inaugural Buy Local Champion with 10 rotating businesses underneath.

The current rotating businesses are the Top Ten business nominees for the LOVEVA of the Year Award 2019. The award was presented to Perfectly Natural Soap at Retail Alliance’s Retailer of the Year awards on May 30. This award was sponsored by another local supporter, All-News 102 radio station.

“The LOVEVA app has been a wonderful addition to the buy local movement since it came on the scene in 2014,” noted Allie Wittkamp, Director of Market Engagement at TowneBank and a member of the LOVEVA steering committee. “TowneBank’s continued support of the app and all of the participating businesses is a natural fit.”

Since 2018, local digital creative agency, TechArk Solutions, has been Retail Alliance’s tech partner for the LOVEVA app and website.

“While LOVEVA is busy working to support small businesses across Hampton Roads, TechArk is making the LOVEVA app, website and admin site run together smoothly. It is comforting to know we can focus on what we do best and let TechArk do what they do best!” said Jennings.

“The LOVEVA app is such an innovative and modern concept to seamlessly connect local businesses with customers. It has been a rewarding experience for TechArk’s team to work on this technology-enabled platform of LOVEVA. This app has been a huge success and we are excited about the future iterations and its continued impact,” noted Pratik Kothari, Founder & CEO of TechArk Solutions.

As the fifth anniversary of the app approaches, it is evident that collaborations and relationships among local businesses will continue to drive the future success of the LOVEVA program. In this new era of retail, these partnerships will only continue to strengthen the economic vitality of this region.

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About LOVEVA

The app was developed to help even the smallest Mom & Pop who are not able to afford such technology. It is a locator and loyalty rewards all in one. No need for several apps on your phone, you need just one, the app that loves you back!” www.bealocalloveva.com

About Retail Alliance

Retail Alliance is a non-profit trade association serving the interests of local retailers in Hampton Roads since 1903. The organization promotes and supports the healthy growth of retail businesses and trade through education, advocacy and member benefits. www.retailalliance.com

About TowneBank

As one of the top community banks in Virginia and North Carolina, TowneBank operates 41 banking offices serving Chesapeake, Chesterfield County, Glen Allen, Hampton, James City County, Mechanicsville, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Richmond, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, and York County in Virginia, along with Raleigh, Cary, Charlotte, Moyock, Grandy, Greenville, Camden County, Southern Shores, Corolla and Nags Head in North Carolina. Towne also offers a full range of financial services through its controlled divisions and subsidiaries that include Towne Investment Group, Towne Wealth Management, Towne Insurance Agency, Towne Benefits, TowneBank Mortgage, TowneBank Commercial Mortgage, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Towne Realty, Towne 1031 Exchange, LLC, and Towne Vacations. Local decision-making is a hallmark of its hometown banking strategy that is delivered through the leadership of each group’s President and Board of Directors. With total assets of $11.57 billion as of March 31, 2019, TowneBank is one of the largest banks headquartered in Virginia. www.townebank.com

About TechArk Solutions

TechArk Solutions is an award-winning web design and software development agency located in Norfolk, Virginia. TechArk’s team leads with integrity, innovation and quality in all the projects. The team works hard every day to guide its diverse set of clients and provide excellent customer experience for their technology and marketing needs. www.GoTechArk.com

LOVEVA of the Year

The LOVEVA of the Year is…

PERFECTLY NATURAL SOAP

Congrats!

Their mission is to provide natural bath and body products that are nurturing to your skin and respectful of our environment. Their soaps, scrubs, bath salts and balms are all made by hand, full of the healing and therapeutic value their natural raw ingredients provide. Their products do not contain petrochemical products, synthetic dyes, sulfates, parabens, or phthalates. They use environmentally responsible packaging materials and processes which reduce our environmental impact. They have two locations to serve you in Williamsburg & Smithfield.
Follow them on social media to find out about all the beautiful products they create.

Many thanks to All News 102, your local news station for sponsoring the LOVEVA Award.

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.