Member Spotlight: Adele Diamond

Chris Lyons is the first to admit, the jewelry industry is a difficult one to break into. Two years of groundwork, including a six-month process to get their online store running, transpired before Adele Diamond opened their retail location in Hilltop Shopping Center in Virginia Beach. Initially, Chris says, “We were hesitant to jump in… [Read More]

Member Spotlight: Lifetime Solutions Plus

Have you ever thought about what you would do if you or a loved one had a long term care event? How would you pay for it? Or the effect of a long term care event on your assets, independence and peace of mind? Just the thought of this can be overwhelming and many people… [Read More]

Member Spotlight: Germono Advertising

Imagine this: you’re a small business owner who knows your retail business backwards and forward. You know your client profiles, you know how your inventory moves, and you know the areas you’d like to improve in. The normal questions surrounding marketing and advertising surely pop into your head … How do I get my business… [Read More]

Member Spotlight: Westside Produce & Provisions

As you enter the doors of Westside Produce & Provisions, at 5015 Colley Avenue in Norfolk, you are typically greeted with a “Hello!” and a warm smile by the owners, Gordon Holley and his brother, James. This charming shop of “fresh foods from local producers” is chock full of seasonal produce grown within 100 miles… [Read More]

Member Spotlight: Epic Made

Every day, businesses live amazing stories through their life’s work. Elated customers and thriving local and global communities are the proof. Carl Cleanthes believes that those authentic stories deserve to be shared with the world around us in the most amazing way. That is the primary focus of his design studio, Epic Made. Started in… [Read More]

Ray’s Corner Post: Molding the Future Generation

I would like to share a couple of thoughts when looking to hire holiday help, particularly the hiring of teenagers. Hiring teenagers provides an incredible work experience for our youth. It teaches responsibility, accountability and work-life balance. I know as a youth I had a morning paper route for four years, worked at the Riverview… [Read More]

Ray’s Corner Post: Developing a Sound Retail Financial Plan

Let’s discuss the development and role of a sound “financial plan” when preparing to launch a successful retail operation. First off, the financial plan is incorporated in the business plan, the financial plan should provide facts and figures showing how fast the business is expected to grow and how that growth will be funded. Keep… [Read More]

Member Spotlight: Tastebuds Popcorn

Patricia Henry and Sophie Young opened Tastebuds Popcorn nineteen months ago (on 9/26/2014 to be exact!) and haven’t looked back since. They love being their own boss and being able to make decisions without going through five or six people for approval. Both had worked in the Quick Service Industry (QSR) as District Managers previously… [Read More]

Member Spotlight: Mermaid Factory

Not many businesses can say they got up and running in 10 weeks! Mermaid Factory successfully navigated the intricacies of commercial real estate and insurance, establishing a company, finding vendors, credit card processing, custom packaging, product production, furnishing and displays, advertising, website design, and more! In their own words, “It was a steep learning curve… [Read More]

5 Reasons Why State Advocacy Rocks

When people think of advocacy, they tend to think of efforts inside the Beltway. But if you want to get things done, you shouldn’t forget to include some action on the state level, say some experts. If you want proof, the 113th Congress passed 352 bills and resolutions, while the state legislatures passed more than… [Read More]