Keep It In York County
In 2013, the York County EDA launched its Buy Local initiative and website, appropriately titled Keep It In York County. The campaign aims to educate local residents about the direct benefits to them from buying local and to encourage them to do so whenever possible. It also served as a marketing tool for York's existing businesses.
We're excited to take our buy local program to the next level! We have partnered with the Retail Alliance and are offering a new grant. Retail Alliance, a nonprofit trade association serving all of Hampton Roads, created the “LOVEVA” (pronounced “love-uh”) program in 2014 to support local business. Central to the program is its app, which allows shoppers to collect rewards at any participating local business—unlike typical loyalty programs that only work at one store or chain. You can then shop at one store and get rewarded at another—that makes it really unique.
This new partnership creates an easier pathway for participation—especially on the financial front. The Economic Development Authority is offering York County businesses a 50% grant for the $145 listing fee with LOVEVA. Since small businesses often lack the budget and infrastructure of larger companies, the LOVEVA program affords them many opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach. The app and website, as well as Retail Alliance’s extensive marketing campaign, provide businesses with a loyalty program and a directory of local businesses. It also includes metrics to measure the effectiveness of LOVEVA in their overall marketing efforts.
Rather than duplicating efforts in individual localities—each with its own buy-local program, website and marketing efforts—LOVEVA allows us work smarter and make a bigger impact collectively.
To be considered “local” under the program, the business must meet at least three of these five criteria:
- Is the business owned locally and independently?
- Are decisions made locally?
- Is the business headquartered locally?
- Did it originate in Hampton Roads?
- Is it privately held?
For more information on this Buy Local Program, visit www.bealocalloveva.com, for Grant Information, click here, or contact York County Economic Development at 757-890-3317. View the press release (PDF).