Retail Alliance and Phoebus Partnership announce grant winners

Posted By: Kylie Ross Sibert News/Press Releases,

5 local retailers in Hampton’s Phoebus downtown historic district to receive micro grants and retail technical consulting services - 

Norfolk, VA: March 26, 2024 – On March 22, 2024 Retail Alliance and Phoebus Partnership announced the five (5) small, local retailers in Downtown Phoebus, Hampton to receive expert consultancy from Retail Alliance’s Retail Technical Assistance (RTA) team and a $3,000-$5,000 mini-grant, all part of the $100,000 grant awarded to Retail Alliance from the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Virginia Business District Resurgence grant.

Judging took place during March using in-person interviews and a strong rubric of considerations to assist Phoebus Partnership in choosing the final five (5) from the 11 businesses that applied. Individual consulting will occur between April and October this year with three (3) workshops conducted during that time for the wider Hampton district. 

The successful applicants were:

  • Art Central Gallery, fine arts gallery
  • Happy Hempo, CBD wellness store
  • Palace Jewelers, fine jewelry store
  • SeeWhich Books, independent bookstore
  • Sly Clyde Ciderworks, manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of hard apple cider.

Jennifer Crittenden and Kylie Ross Sibert from Retail Alliance will work closely with Hampton Economic Development and Phoebus Partnership, along with an expert Retail Technical Assistance (RTA) team including Paige Pollard and Katie Yester from Commonwealth Preservation Group, Stephanie Heinatz from Consociate Media, Sara Harris from Sara Harris Photography, Bill Holloran from SBDC Hampton Roads, and Angela Knight from Angela Knight Consulting.

According to Jenny Crittenden, President & CEO of Retail Alliance, “The individual evaluations by the consultant team will analyze the customer experience from the multi-channel perspective and provide key recommendations to the owners. The goal of the recommendations is to develop a seamless customer experience that blends at all touch points.”

Recipients will also receive a mini-grant between $3,000-$5,000 to assist with implementation of the consultants’ recommendations.

"This pilot program is a powerful example of how to breathe new life into historic districts like Phoebus," says Dominique DeBose, Executive Director of the Phoebus Partnership. "The Retail Alliance team and their consultants are not just supporting individual ventures but investing in the overall economic vitality of the Phoebus district. Empowering these businesses with the resources they need to not only thrive but also operate sustainably will help bolster Downtown Phoebus as a vibrant community and enduring destination."

[Editor’s Note: Video footage is available along with high resolution photographs. Compilation video below]

Above L-R: Jenny Crittenden (President/CEO Retail Alliance), LaVonne Allen (Fine Art Administrator, Art Central Gallery),  Dominique DeBose (Executive Director, Phoebus Partnership), Robin Carpenter (President, Phoebus Partnership) 

Above L-R: Jenny Crittenden (President/CEO Retail Alliance), Robin Carpenter (President, Phoebus Partnership), Joe Griffith (Phoebus Neighborhood Commissioner), Dani Edwards (Co-owner, Happy Hempo), Dominique DeBose (Executive Director, Phoebus Partnership)

Above L-R: Jenny Crittenden (President/CEO Retail Alliance), Colleen Walker (Owner, Palace Jewelers), Robin Carpenter (President, Phoebus Partnership), Dominique DeBose (Executive Director, Phoebus Partnership)

Above L-R: Robin Carpenter (President, Phoebus Partnership), Jenny Crittenden (President/CEO Retail Alliance), Kristine Inchausti (Owner, SeeWhich Books), Dominique DeBose (Executive Director, Phoebus Partnership) 

Above L-R: Jenny Crittenden (President/CEO Retail Alliance), Amelia MacCubbin (Manager, Sly Clyde Ciderworks), Robin Carpenter (President, Phoebus Partnership), Dominique DeBose (Executive Director, Phoebus Partnership)


The Retail Merchants Association of the Tidewater dba Retail Alliance has been awarded a $100,000 Virginia Business District Resurgence grant from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) of Virginia to implement a pilot retail technical assistance program for existing retailers in Phoebus’ commercial district. This project will partner with Downtown Phoebus Partnership, an initiative led by Hampton Economic Development, and will incorporate individual business assessments and mini-implementation grants of $3,000-$5,000 awarded to five businesses, along with three educational workshops made available to all businesses within the commercial district.

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At Retail Alliance, we unite with retailpreneurs for a thriving retail community through professional development, collaboration, innovation, a collective voice, and shared values, shaping the future of retail together. We celebrated our 120th anniversary in 2023. Retail Alliance champions for the retail industry and serves as the primary non-profit retail trade association in Hampton Roads. 


Phoebus Partnership is a Main Street organization that focuses on community engagement, business revitalization, and the economic and social vitality within the arts and culture district and historic neighborhood of Phoebus in Hampton, Virginia. 

 [Note: To read previous press release announcing receipt of grant, click here:]