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HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 726
Commending the Retail Alliance on its 100th anniversary.

Agreed to by the House of Delegates, January 24, 2003
Agreed to by the Senate, January 30, 2003

WHEREAS, the year 2003 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Retail Alliance, the Retail Merchants Association of Tidewater; and

WHEREAS, in 1903 the Retail Merchants Association of Norfolk elected officers and started meeting in the Chamber of Commerce headquarters on Granby Street; and

WHEREAS, the association organized a Bureau of Credit in 1906, and moved to its own space in the Bureau of Trade; and

WHEREAS, in 1957 the association expanded its services by adding a Recovery Department for collections of past due accounts; and

WHEREAS, the Retail Merchants Association of Norfolk merged with the Retail Merchants Association of Portsmouth in 1978, and reorganized as The Retail Merchants Association of Tidewater, Virginia, Inc.; and

WHEREAS, in 1979 the association moved into a new building on Poplar Hall Drive in the burgeoning Military Highway district of Norfolk in an effort to become easily accessible to consumers throughout Hampton Roads; and

WHEREAS, the credit bureau in 1981 became an affiliate of Equifax, then CBI, one of the three national credit reporting organizations in the country; and

WHEREAS, in 1986 the association acquired the Credit Bureau of Suffolk and expanded its services to Franklin and Isle of Wight County; and

WHEREAS, the association expanded to offer a Retail Services division in 1998, providing training, library resources, marketing and government relations services, and meeting room space for local retailers; and

WHEREAS, in 2001 the credit reporting files of Retail Alliance were acquired by Equifax who expanded the Retail Alliance sales and marketing area, more than doubling its sales territory; and

WHEREAS, the Retail Alliance now employs approximately 50 people and offers 50 business service products including credit and mortgage reports, pre-employment screening tools, collection services and, for customers who use these services, the company provides workshops to update businesses on government rulings and changes in the credit industry; and

WHEREAS, approximately 2,100 Hampton Roads businesses are now partners or customers of Retail Alliance; and

WHEREAS, association employees and managers volunteer more than 1,000 hours of community service annually to approximately 35 agencies, nonprofit programs, and charitable events throughout Hampton Roads; and

WHEREAS, in 2001 the company received an award from the American Red Cross for sponsoring blood drives six times a year, the only company in South Hampton Roads to perform this service; and

WHEREAS, the company has established the Robert W. Peck Memorial Scholarship Fund at Virginia Wesleyan College, which finances the education of two business majors annually; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the General Assembly congratulate the Retail Alliance on the occasion of its 100th anniversary; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the president of the Retail Alliance as an expression of the congratulations and continued best wishes of the General Assembly of Virginia.


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