In March we began a season of so much uncertainty! Fast forward a few months (it actually felt like slow motion) and businesses are slowly reopening with new standards.

There are glimmers of hope for some sort of normalcy. Which businesses survived? How will COVID 19 continue to impact the future? Still so much uncertainty.

However, there is one thing we are sure of—our local businesses, the ones we have promoted as the backbone of our local economy —stood up and stood out. They continued to invest in their communities and gave the phrase “We’re in this Together” new meaning. Consumers have been able to see who the helpers are!

Retail Alliance and LOVEVA have continued to support, encourage and promote businesses. An annual tradition, Retailer of the Year (ROTY), looks a little different for 2020. Instead of a night to gather and celebrate, the voting for the different categories was held online, including the LOVEVA award, given to one of the local businesses on the LOVEVA app.

Even before COVID, the team had decided to change the name of the LOVEVA award to Community Builder Award.  This seems more fitting than ever! Our small businesses are just that – community builders. All businesses on the LOVEVA app were sent a questionnaire – an opportunity for that business to share (it’s ok to brag a little) how they invest in their community. For example, how they give to and support local charities. So many local businesses have continued to support local charities, even when their own businesses were unable to operate. Many owners continue to mentor and support other businesses and are active in their community in so many ways!

The completed questionnaires was reviewed by the team and four businesses were selected. LOVEVA app users were asked to vote for their favorites from the following and the winners were announced along with the ROTY winners. 

Winners are: 

Gold: Care-A-Lot Pet Supply (TIE) 

Gold: The Virginia Beer Company (TIE) 

Silver: Eco Maniac Company 

Bronze: Countryside Gardens