VRF proactively represents and supports the legislative interests of Virginia retailers on the local, state, and federal levels. 





Virginia Launches COVIDWISE Exposure Notification App to Help Contain COVID-19

August 7, 2020


Governor Ralph Northam announced this week the launch of COVIDWISE, an innovative exposure notification app that will alert users if they have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Virginia is the first state in the country to design a COVID-19 app using Bluetooth Low Energy technology developed by Apple and Google, which does not rely on personal information or location data. Users opt-in to download and utilize the free app.

COVIDWISE works by using random Bluetooth keys that change every 10 to 20 minutes. iOS and Android devices that have the app installed will anonymously share these random keys if they are within close proximity for at least 15 minutes.

Each day, the device downloads a list of all random keys associated with positive COVID-19 results submitted by other app users and checks them against the list of random keys it has encountered in the last 14 days. If there is a match, COVIDWISE may notify the individual, taking into account the date and duration of exposure, and the Bluetooth signal strength which is used to estimate proximity. 


  • To learn more about COVIDWISE and the download the app, click HERE.
  • To watch an informational briefing with the app developers click HERE.
  • Read a one-page information sheet on COVIDWISE HERE. 







Virginia Retail by the Numbers


Jobs Supported by Retail

Retail Establishments
$63.5 (b)
Total GDP Impact
Direct Retail Employment
$20,545 (m)
Direct Labor Income
$30,927 (m) 
Direct Impact on GDP


source: National Retail Federation



Small Business Owner



Take Action and Make an Impact

We need you to raise your voice in support of the restaurants, hotels, shops, and entertainment that you love by helping us to advocate for Retail Relief 2020. Right now, to make our community safer, these retailers have agreed to close their businesses. We need to all work together to make sure they can reopen them when this crisis is over. 



Contact the Governor immediately and demand that action is taken NOW to help save Retail in Virginia.

We need relief from state tax payments for a minimum of 6 months, expand the VEC to align with the Federal Stimulus program relating to a new Employment Compensation stimulus, unemployment rates for business remain at the level they were prior to COVID-19, a delay in remitting sales tax payments to the limit of the law, pause on all the burdensome legislation that was passed in the 2020 Session.



We need everyone to contact their senators now! Tell them to put aside their differences and pass a bill that defends the economic health of the retail workforce and provides the maximum amount of liquidity for retailers to remain viable until the end of the crisis. 




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