Important information regarding February and March SNAP benefits

SNAP customers who are not renewing in February will receive half of their March benefits on March 1, 2019 and half on their regularly assigned day.

When will SNAP customers who are renewing benefits in February receive their benefits?

  • If the customer's renewal is approved by February 16th for the month of March, half of their benefits benefits will be distributed on March 1st and the other half on their regularly assigned day.
  • If the customer's renewal is approved on or after February 17th for the month of March, their case will be processed as usual and full benefits for March will be available on their regularly assigned day.
  • New approved applications will be processed as usual and March benefits will be available on the assigned day.
  • Click here to download the SNAP customer split issuance FAQ flyer.

For Immediate Release: February 11, 2019
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Even though fewer consumers plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, those who are plan on spending a record amount this year, averaging $162 per person

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 80 years, says that in spite of fewer consumers showering a special someone with flowers and gifts for Valentine’s Day, the average spent per person is expected to reach a record high of $162, for a total nationally of almost $21 billion in sales.

“Another special event on the calendar and another spending record is expected, once again reinforcing the strength of the economy both statewide and nationally,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “More consumers are employed with more money to spend, meaning great sales opportunities for retailers throughout Florida.”

Thanks to a survey done by FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation, those surveyed said they would spend an average $161.96. That’s up 13 percent from last year’s $143.56 and easily tops the previous record of $146.84 set in 2016. Total spending is expected to be $20.7 billion, which is an increase of 6 percent over last year’s $19.6 billion and breaks the previous record of $19.7 billion, also set in 2016.

The spending increases come even though only 51 percent of Americans plan to celebrate the holiday, down from 55 percent last year and a high of 63 percent in 2007. It is unclear why the number of consumers celebrating has trended downward over the past 12 years, but spending, while varying with the economy, has generally trended up. The lowest spending during the period was $102.50 in 2009 during the Great Recession.

Of the $18.40 increase in average spending, only $4.26 comes from spending on spouses and significant others, which is expected to total $93.24. Consumers said they would spend $29.87 on other family members, up $4.58; $9.78 on friends, up $2.59; $8.63 on children’s classmates or teachers, up $1.37; $7.78 on co-workers, up $2.99; $6.94 on pets, up $1.44 and $5.72 on others, up $1.17.

As in each year of the survey, men are the biggest spenders at $229.54, up 20 percent from last year. That’s more than double the $97.77 women said they would spend, which is down 1 percent, and is within the survey’s margin of error.

Among age groups, those 35-44 are the biggest Valentine spenders at $279.14, followed by those 25-34 at $239.07. Both groups typically have more people to buy for including children and children’s classmates or teachers.

Gifts for pets continue to be popular, purchased by 20 percent. Pet spending is expected to total $886 million, up $519 million since NRF first asked in 2008.

Those celebrating plan to spend $3.9 billion on jewelry (given by 18 percent), $3.5 billion on an evening out (34 percent), $2.1 billion on clothing (18 percent), $1.9 billion on flowers (35 percent), $1.8 billion on candy (52 percent), $1.3 billion on gift cards (15 percent) and $933 million on greeting cards (44 percent). Gifts of experience such as tickets to an event or a trip to a spa are wanted by 40 percent and planned to be given by 25 percent.

“With so many different ways to show your love for someone – from flowers to candy to gift cards to jewelry – Sunshine State retailers have everything someone would need to make their Valentine’s Day special,” said Shalley.

Department stores are the most popular Valentine’s Day shopping destination, visited by 35 percent of shoppers, followed by discount stores (32 percent), online (27 percent), specialty stores (18 percent) florists (16 percent), small or local businesses (14 percent), jewelry stores and specialty clothing stores (each 9 percent).

Even among those who don’t plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day as such, 11 percent plan to treat themselves to gifts like clothing or jewelry and 9 percent plan to get together with other single friends or family.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, the National Retail Federation's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad. In the U.S., NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion. www.nrf.com.

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For Immediate Release: February 5, 2019
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

The Court decided not to hear an appeal from the City of Miami Beach over its proposed increase in the minimum wage, deferring to an already existing state legislative preemption; FRF, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association celebrate the ruling on behalf of Florida’s business community

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Supreme Court today decided not to hear an appeal by the City of Miami Beach regarding a wage ordinance adopted by the city, signaling a significant victory for three of Florida’s leading business organizations. The Florida Retail Federation, the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association originally filed suit in circuit court against an ordinance proposing to raise the minimum wage in spite of a state preemption, because it was not valid under section 218.077 F.S. which preempts local minimum wages. The City then appealed that ruling to the Florida Supreme Court. The suit was filed by Charles Caulkins of the South Florida law firm Fisher Philips LLC.

“We want to thank the attorney general and the solicitor general for intervening on our behalf in this case, as well as our coalition partners for their collaboration and commitment to ensuring Florida business owners remain free to decide how to best successfully run their own businesses,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO.

“The Florida Chamber of Commerce is pleased that Florida’s highest court agreed that Miami Beach’s ordinance was unconstitutional. Today’s Florida Supreme Court action serves as a proof point to other local governments that a patchwork of mandated wage regulations are against the law," said Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce.

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court recognized the constitutionality of the statute that establishes one consistent state-wide minimum wage. This ruling provides economic stability across the state and protects the rights of business owners to pay wages that their local markets demand," said Carol B. Dover, CEO / President of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

In December 2016, the City of Miami Beach passed a city ordinance to raise the minimum wage to $10.31/hour starting January 1, 2018, and increase it $1.00/year until it reaches $13.31 in 2021. FRF and its coalition partners argued that the ordinance disregarded a state statute which established the State of Florida will determine one consistent minimum wage for the entire state. This statute allows for local government entities to adopt ordinances to exceed this wage for those working or contracting with the local government. The case was originally heard by the 11th Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County which ruled on March 28, 2017, that the ordinance was unconstitutional.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RESTAURANT & LODGING ASSOCIATION
FRLA is Florida’s premier non-profit hospitality industry trade association. Our mission is to ‘Protect, Educate and Promote’ Florida’s $108.8 billion hospitality industry which represents 1.4 million employees - making it the state’s number one industry. We offer regulatory compliance and food safety training needs (RCS and SafeStaff®); industry developed career-building high school programs (FRLAEF); sponsor the only event in Florida exclusively serving the restaurant and foodservice industry (FR&L Show, September 10-12, 2017 in Orlando); and we safeguard the needs of the hospitality industry by providing legislative advocacy. We represent and serve more than 10,000 independent and household name members, suppliers, and theme parks. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube.

For Immediate Release: January 29, 2019
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

More than $81 per person expected to be spent this year on food, drinks and decorations, as lure of the Super Bowl continues to attract everyone from diehard football fans to casual viewers

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 80 years, says Florida families will spend an average of $81.30 per person to watch Super Bowl LIII between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots. The average cost per person is up slightly from 2018 and the second-highest on record, with total spending nationally expected to surpass $14.8 billion.

“The Super Bowl continues to be must-watch television for both loyal fans and those that haven’t watched a game all season,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “Consumers will stock up on food and drink as well as apparel and even new televisions. Florida’s retailers stand ready to provide everything needed for Super Bowl Sunday.”

According to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual Super Bowl Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average spending is virtually unchanged from last year’s $81.17 and is the second-highest in the history of the survey after a record of $82.19 set in 2016. The total amount is down from last year’s $15.3 billion, primarily because fewer people plan to watch the game – 182.5 million this year compared with 188.5 million last year. The overall spending is still the third-highest on record, after last year’s figure and $15.5 billion in 2016.

The biggest spenders are those ages 35-44 at an average $123.26 while the lowest are those 65 and older at $40.97. Viewers in the Northeast plan to spend the most, at an average $94.89, followed by the West at $84.01, the South at $79.09 and the Midwest at $69.24.

“With Florida historically matching or exceeding national averages, this helps reinforce the strength of our economy. Florida retailers are excited about the opportunities provided by the biggest television event of the year,” said Shalley.

The survey found that 72 percent of adults plan to watch the game, down from 76 percent last year. Among those watching, 79 percent plan to buy food and beverages, 10 percent team apparel and accessories, 7 percent decorations, also 7 percent for new televisions, and 4 percent furniture such as entertainment centers.

Close to a quarter (24 percent or 61 million) plan to attend a party, while 17 percent (44 million) will throw one while 5 percent (13 million) will watch in a bar or restaurant. The largest share of those watching (43 percent) say the game is the most important part of the event, but 23 percent cite the commercials, 14 percent getting together with friends, 13 percent the halftime show and 7 percent the food.

The survey found that 76 percent see the commercials as entertainment and that only 10 percent say they are influenced to make a purchase, but the ads carry more weight among younger viewers. Of those ages 18-24, 17 percent say the commercials influence them to buy and 16 percent are prompted to search online for more information.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
The Florida Retail Federation is the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide one out of every five jobs in the state, pay more than $49 billion in wages annually, and collect and remit more than $20 billion in sales taxes for Florida’s government each year.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
As the world's largest retail trade association and the voice of retail worldwide, the National Retail Federation's global membership includes retailers of all sizes, formats and channels of distribution as well as chain restaurants and industry partners from the U.S. and more than 45 countries abroad. In the U.S., NRF represents the breadth and diversity of an industry with more than 1.6 million American companies that employ nearly 25 million workers and generated 2010 sales of $2.4 trillion. www.nrf.com.

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