Center for Retail Excellence Scholarship Program

Center for Retail Excellence

What is it?

Are you considering starting a retail or service business? If so, this program is an excellent place for you to start!

The Retail Alliance’s Center for Retail Excellence (CRE) Program will walk you through the considerations necessary to start your business. The program is broken up into seven topic areas (each 4-6 weeks in length) representing each of the Seven Pillars of Retail Excellence: Start-up, Retail Accounting, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Security/Loss Prevention, Merchandising, and Business Planning. When you have successfully completed the Certificate, you will have developed a workable business plan that has been vetted by business and financial experts. CRE addresses your specific needs as a retail or service company leader, by providing a practical, hands-on approach to developing a small business, whether you are just starting out or are ready to grow.

The Center for Retail Excellence (CRE) Scholarship Program is brought to you by the York County Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the Retail Alliance.

How much is it?

Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis to York County residents or licensed business owners. The EDA offers a matching scholarship that covers 50% of class costs, up to $500 per business, for the successful completion of the Retail Alliance’s CRE Certificate Program. The total cost of the course is $995, so scholarships are typically in the amount of $497.50 and are awarded upon the successful completion of the program.

Who is eligible?

Your business must have a current York County Business License at the time of grant application and this license must remain paid and active until one year after the date grant funds are received; or you must currently live in York County and provide proof of residence. If you close and/or relocate your business out of York County or change your main residence address within one year of receiving grant funds, you must repay 50% of the total grant awarded.

How does it work?

  1. Submit a scholarship application via email, fax, mail, or in person and form W-9. Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis by York County EDA staff.
  2. Staff will acknowledge receipt of your application and will inform you of your application’s status with a return letter/email.
  3. If approved, you must pay for the class in full and successfully complete the course.
  4. Once the course is successfully completed, you must request that CRE staff notify the York County EDA in writing.
  5. York County Economic Development staff will then provide you with the reimbursement payment.

Where do I submit my application?

Submit scholarship application via:
  • Email:
  • Fax: 757-890-4011
  • Mail: York County Economic Development, P.O. Box 612, Yorktown, VA 23690
  • In person: York County Economic Development, 224 Ballard St., Yorktown, VA 23690
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