Whether you’re a restaurant, retailer, or retail partner, we’re here for you. Our dedicated team provides you with trusted guidance, support and up-to-date information to help you and your business succeed.

We’re by your side every step of the way, championing for your success, educating you and your peers, advocating and lobbying on your behalf, negotiating group discounts, offering a variety of products and services to benefit your business, and helping you build lasting relationships far beyond your membership.


Since 1903, the founding principles of Retail Alliance have centered on the core value of service to our membership and to the retail community.

In 1902, the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce determined that retailers’ needs were different from most businesses. Thus, the Retail Merchants Association was created a year later.

The issues that were addressed by the new association were timeless in nature. They included networking opportunities, transportation, advertising, licensing, taxes, holiday closings, etc.

During the early years of the association, the extension of credit by retailers was a crucial part of day-to-day business. With the creation of the Retail Merchants Association (RMA) in 1903, RMA was in the right place at the right time to cater to the credit reporting needs of its members. In 1906, the purchase of the Norfolk Bureau of Credit was the ideal fit for the organization.

Throughout the years, RMA focused on credit reporting initiatives. Through automation and other peripheral services (mortgage credit reporting and recovery services), the credit bureau became a major revenue generator.

Changes in technology, automation, and national mergers supplanted the need for a local credit bureau and its peripheral services.

The credit reporting files were sold to Equifax, with RA Business Solutions continuing to represent Equifax as the Sales Agent in Hampton Roads.

Retail Alliance continues as the association and non-profit arm of Retail Alliance, providing advocacy, benefits, and education to retailers throughout the region.

The goals and strategies employed over the last century serve as a solid foundation for the coming years as the expansion of Retail Alliance continues and we strive for continuous improvement of offerings and representation for all local retailers.

The Retail Merchants Association of Norfolk elected officers and started meeting in Chamber of Commerce headquarters

The Association organized a Bureau of Credit and moved to its own space in the Bureau of Trade in downtown Norfolk.

The company expanded its services by adding a Recovery Department for collections of past due accounts.

The Retail Merchants Association of Norfolk merged with The Retail Merchants Association of Portsmouth to become The Retail Merchants Association of Tidewater, Virginia Inc.

Retail Merchants Association moved to Poplar Hall Drive in the Military Hwy district of Norfolk.

Credit bureau division became an affiliate of Equifax (then CBI).

Acquired Credit Bureau of Suffolk and expanded into Franklin and Isle of Wight County.

Reinforcing mission as a retail association, started offering retail services.

Equifax acquired credit reporting files but kept Retail Alliance as sales agent in expanded sales territory.

Sold mortgage reporting operation and recovery services.

After sale of business assets, sold Poplar Hall and downsized to leased space on E Plume St in downtown Norfolk.

RA partnered with Retail Merchants Association of Richmond to create the Virginia Retail Federation (VRF), a joint advocacy group representing retail issues at local, state and federal levels.

Purchased current offices at 838 Granby St, Norfolk.

Retail Alliance Foundation formed as a charitable and educational arm. A percentage of dues collected goes to the Foundation.

RA Business Solutions formed as a for-profit corporation to represent Equifax in VA.*

Revised our mission to match our mantra “to be a trusted resource for the success of local retailers.”

Launched LOVEVA, a unique buy local program and mobile app that rewards consumers for shopping locally.

Launched Certificate in Retail Operations, with a mission to be the premier source for retail education and support for aspiring and existing business owners.