Retail Alliance Foundation (RAF) is pleased to announce it has received a $10,000 grant from Dollar Bank for their Center for Retail Excellence’s Certificate of Retail Operations (CROps). The check was presented to the RAF at Retail Alliance’s Retailer of the Year Awards on May 30, 2019. These funds will cover the full tuition for 10 aspiring entrepreneurs in the Norfolk, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach area.

“Since 1855, Dollar Bank has always understood that no restrictions should be made to any gender, race, creed, income level or nationality to open a savings account,” said Carol A. Neyland, Senior Vice President, Community Development, Dollar Bank. “That same regard for inclusiveness for everyone aligns itself with the Retail Alliance Foundation’s mission to encourage any budding entrepreneur to have that same chance, no matter where they are in life.”

Through the Center for Retail Excellence, the Retail Alliance Foundation provides quality education designed to build and/or enhance the knowledge base of those embarking upon their entrepreneurial journey.

“Our goal is to ensure each student is equipped with the competencies needed to turn their passion into profit and be operable for years to come,” stated Michelle Ellis Young, Director of Education for Retail Alliance Foundation. “The gift from Dollar Bank ensures we are able to provide opportunities for many deserving low-to-moderate income citizens in their footprint. We continue to be amazed by their support in helping to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Hampton Roads!”

The Retail Alliance Foundation operates cohorts throughout the Hampton Roads area and is currently facilitating cohorts in Norfolk and Gloucester. Prospective students interested in learning more about the program can contact Michelle Ellis Young at (757) 455-9319 or

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About Retail Alliance Foundation

The Retail Alliance Foundation develops and coordinates Retail Alliance’s educational and charitable efforts in support of existing and aspiring business owners.

About Retail Alliance

Retail Alliance ( is a non-profit trade association serving the interests of local retailers in Hampton Roads since 1903. The organization promotes and supports the healthy growth of retail businesses and trade through education, advocacy and other member benefits.

About Dollar Bank

Dollar Bank is a mutual bank with assets of more than $8.6 billion. Today, Dollar Bank operates more than 70 locations throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia and has over 1,300 employees. For more than 160 years, Dollar Bank has grown to become a large, full service, regional bank committed to providing the highest quality of banking services to individuals and businesses. Dollar Bank ( is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.