Friday, 24 September 2021 10:57

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 24, 2021
CONTACT: Amanda Bevis (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – Halloween this year is expected to be a delightfully frightful success, according to the 2021 retail sales forecast data issued this week by the National Retail Federation. Halloween is the second biggest retail event of the year, and data reveals this year will be a comeback from the moderated activities during the pandemic. 

"You can already feel the energy and excitement among Florida retailers, with consumers in-store and online searching for items to make this Halloween one for the books," says Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "When you're selecting your costume, stocking up on candy or loading up pumpkins, be sure to Find It In Florida! Support our local businesses and local jobs this scary season." 

Sixty-five percent of Americans intend to celebrate Halloween or participate in festivities, which is close to pre-pandemic levels. Some of the top ghoulish festivities for 2021 include handing out candy (66%), decorating the home or yard (52%), dressing up in costumes (46%), carving pumpkins (44%) and hosting or attending a Halloween party (25%).

Nationally, consumers plan to spend an all-time high of $10.14 billion to celebrate Halloween compared to $8.05 billion in 2020. Shoppers plan to spend $102.74 on average this Halloween compared to $92.74 in 2020.

One-third of total Halloween expenditures, or $3.32 billion will be on costumes, representing the highest forecast since 2017.

The surprise upset in this year's forecast is in the popular children's costume category. Spiderman has dethroned the princess for top costume this year, pushing long-time favorite princess to the #2 spot.

  • Spiderman - 1.8 million
  • Princess - 1.6 million
  • Batman - 1.2 million
  • Superhero - 1.2 million

Individuals planning to include their pets in the Hallow's Eve festivities will find pumpkin continues to reign as the hottest costume for the sixth consecutive year in a row. Superhero and cat costumes are tied as a top favorite for furry friends. The top five pet costumes are: 

  • Pumpkin - 10 percent
  • Hot Dog - 5 percent
  • Superhero - 4 percent
  • Cat - 4 percent
  • Bumblebee - 3 percent


Florida shoppers are getting an early start on their shopping for ghoulish delights at retail stores. This year, 45% of consumers started shopping in September, and 39% plan to purchase their spooky supplies during the first two weeks of October.

This Halloween, when shoppers "Find It In Florida" and shop local retailers, they help boost the local economy and support community businesses. Learn more about the "Find It In Florida" program at the website

For more information on the predictions of the National Retail Federation, visit: https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/halloween-spending-soars-celebrations-near-pre-pandemic-levels

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
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.  

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Tuesday, 14 September 2021 13:29

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 14, 2021
CONTACT: Amanda Bevis (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – During National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Florida Retail Federation (FRF) is putting the spotlight on a family-owned retailer. In downtown Miami, Animal Crackers is not only taming the manes of dogs across all of South Florida, but making sure man's best friend is well-fed for a lifetime of belly rubs.

Meet Florida native, JJ Diaz. Diaz is the passionate owner and founder of Animal Crackers, a retail store offering healthy pet food and grooming services.  

Born and raised in Miami, Diaz spent most of his days outside as a kid, playing in the woods and catching lizards, frogs or any animal he could get his hands on. 

Though he grew up without having his own pet, it did not stop Diaz from picking up a dog the moment he moved off to college. While in Gainesville, Diaz adopted Jake, a rottweiler that had many health problems and not very long to live. 

For Diaz, failure was not an option. He traveled and met with a veterinarian that took a holistic approach. 

"By changing his diet and lifestyle, we were able to naturally, internally heal my dog," said Diaz. "It was kind of wicked to see." 

As a result, his one year left with Jake ended up being a lifelong friendship. For Diaz, the impact of this lifestyle change on the dog's health and wellness was not lost.

After Diaz graduated from the University of Florida, he entered the corporate world of Miami. But Diaz kept drumming up new business opportunities. He even entered and won business competitions, but none really seemed to pan out.

Diaz's enthusiasm for pet health and wellness remained steadfast. One day, he found himself driving up to 50 minutes away to ensure his dog received the food the nutritional supplements he needed to remain healthy. Then, in 2009, it was like a lightbulb turned on.

"I was out walking my dog, just thinking about life and all I had to do," recalled Diaz. 

That's when it hit him. Diaz could fulfill this need in his own community by offering a delivery service of these products. 

Within three months, Diaz had a website up and was delivering high-quality nutritious dog food to his neighbors. He immediately gained a supportive list of clientele and created an efficient distribution chain.

By 2011, Animals Crackers was a full-fledged retail storefront selling and delivering dog food and health supplements. Today, the retail shop offers a variety of grooming services and has an established and loyal customer base. 

The energetic and no-nonsense approach Diaz embodies, both personally and professionally, is due in part to his parents. 

"They are as Cuban as they come," Diaz said laughing. "My parents, they are polar opposites. My mother taught me how to hustle, and my father taught me to make sure I do things properly the first time." 

Diaz's mother was born in New York and raised in Cuba. In the 1960s, her family home in Cuba was taken away from them. They lost everything.

"She understood that at any point, no matter what you do, it could all end," explained Diaz. 

The experience she shared with him taught him to never take anything for granted and always share gratitude. 

"My parents instilled a drive within me to get things done and to work hard. But most importantly to remember that families come first. It is all about family."

For Diaz, his retail store is his tool to share his passion, to help educate and spread awareness on how to best treat and feed your furry friends. 

"A healthy lifestyle for your pet is the simplest form of love and care," he shared. 

And for many, pets are another member of the family. When COVID-19 hit, Diaz focused on how to care for pets that are family while keeping the store family together. 

He explained, "When COVID-19 hit, it destroyed us. But my first focus was how I am going to keep my crew together and keep everyone on board." 

Despite the uncertainty, the Animal Crackers retail team immediately sprung into action, offering curbside pick-up and capitalizing on their existing delivery service option. 

"Thankfully, we've been able to stay open and now are back to grooming up to 60 dogs a day," shared Diaz. "But that was not without growing together from the last year as a collective group. Through all our mistakes and successes, we still continue to come up with ways to better ourselves. We don't take anything for granted."

Diaz's passion to continually improve has played into his focus to help revitalize and encourage growth in the downtown Miami retail community. Through Diaz's grit and the hard work he and his partner continue to pour into Animal Crackers, growth has begun to occur. 

"I feel so blessed because I see people coming out and starting to really support the neighborhood community," he shared. "Our street is starting to look really good."

For JJ Diaz, at the end of the day, it is his wife, two children and the pet community he has built that makes him feel most proud. 

"For me, it has always been that level of bond with a dog," he explained. "When I come home from work and to my family, no matter how bad of a day, I know my pet is going to be stoked to hang with me."

Diaz is proud of his Hispanic roots, but he's also incredibly proud to be a part of the growth of Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States and their contributions to the American economy.

"The way I see it, Henry Flagler made Miami a resort town, but Hispanics made Miami a regional center of the American economy, as well as a financial center for the Caribbean," said Diaz. "Hispanic business owners’ contributions to local, national and the global economy are only gaining momentum, and all while facing additional barriers, whether be it from cultural and language differences or bias."

In fact, over the past decade, Hispanic Americans are starting businesses faster than the rest of the startup population. According to JP Morgan Chase, Hispanic-owned businesses will make up nearly one-third of American businesses, a significant jump from 17% today. 

Animal Crackers is one of many retail businesses in Florida that you can support while you shop local and "Find It In Florida." Visit their website or follow them on Facebook or Instagram for more information. 

Last year, the Florida Retail Federation launched the "Find It In Florida" campaign to spread public awareness on the importance of shopping locally. When Floridian shoppers "Find It In Florida", they are helping to keep doors open, boost the local economy and support their communities. 

Florida's retailers have continued to take proactive measures during the pandemic to provide consumers with safe access to meet their shopping needs, including safely shopping in stores, curbside pickup and online ordering options.  

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.

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Wednesday, 28 July 2021 09:20

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 27, 2021
CONTACT: Amanda Bevis (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – Florida retail stores are ready to help families get a jump start on back-to-school shopping. Floridians can save money when shopping for school supplies during Florida’s Back to School Sales Tax holiday that begins Saturday, July 31, and runs through Monday, August 9.

“School supplies are essential to learning and now you can save when you stock up for a new school year,” said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “Remember to ‘Find It In Florida’ and support your local retailers when checking off the items on your back-to-school lists. Many retail stores are offering additional savings to help you cut costs this year.”

The following items are available for purchase tax-free July 31 – August 9:

  • Clothing, footwear and backpacks costing $60 or less;
  • School supplies costing $15 or less; and
  • First $1,000 of the sales tax price of personal computers or personal computer-related accessories.

According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, Florida consumers are already planning ahead for the new school year and will spend record amounts for school and college supplies. About 70% of families plan to start shopping at least three weeks before school begins with average spending of $848.90 per household.

Total back-to-school spending is forecasted to reach $37.1 billion this fall. This can be partially attributed to shoppers expecting to spend more as more students will return to their in-person groups and clubs including sports teams and other extracurricular activities. The top categories for back-to-school and college shopping are electronics with back-to-school sales expected to reach $12.9 billion while college sales will make up $18.1 billion this fall.

There are more than 270,000 retail stores in Florida, and one in five jobs is tied to Florida retail. When shoppers “Find It In Florida" and shop local retailers, they help boost the local economy and support community businesses. Learn more about the "Find It In Florida" program at the website.

“Now is the time to save money when shopping for school supplies,” said Shalley. “We encourage all Floridians to “Find It In Florida” and shop with retailers that employ your neighbors and support your community.”

Visit www.fldoe.org to learn more about what you need to prepare and help your children return to school safely. For a full list of eligible tax-free supplies, please visit FloridaRevenue.com/BacktoSchool.

This year’s Back to School Sales Tax Holiday was established when Governor DeSantis signed HB 7061 into law on May 21. The legislation was championed by Rep. Bobby Payne and Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, and the tax-free holiday was a priority of Sen. Keith Perry.

The data shared by the Florida Retail Federation is informed by a survey conducted and released by the National Retail Federation. For more information on the predictions of the National Retail Federation, visit: https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/2021-brings-back-class-shopping-record-levels.

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
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. 

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Monday, 28 June 2021 14:31

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 28, 2021

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – Ahead of Florida’s first-ever Freedom Week, the Florida Retail Federation urges families to shop local. Beginning on July 1, Floridians can find cost savings at Florida retailers on a large variety of outdoor and recreational supplies. The tax-free savings of the 2021 Freedom Week Sales Tax Holiday includes boating and activity supplies, camping and fishing gear, sporting equipment and entertainment, and more. 

The tax holiday begins this Thursday, July 1, and runs seven days through Wednesday, July 7. 

“The Sunshine State has so much to offer. Now is the time for Floridians to stock up on all the gear they need to enjoy our great outdoors. Florida retailers are ready to assist shoppers and help them save this Freedom Week,” said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “As Floridians shop for summer, remember to 'Find It In Florida.' When you support Florida retail stores, you’re supporting Florida jobs and Florida families.” 

Beginning Thursday, July 1, Floridians can save on eligible Freedom Week purchases including Florida-related recreational supplies including boating and water activity, camping, fishing, general outdoor supplies and sports equipment. 

The criteria for tax-free savings on boating and water activities include:

  • The first $75 on the price of life jackets and coolers;
  • The first $50 on the price of safety flares;
  • The first $150 on the price of water skis, wakeboards, kneeboards, and recreational inflatable water tubes;
  • The first $300 on the price of paddleboards and surfboards;
  • The first $500 on the price of canoes and kayaks;
  • The first $75 on the price of paddles and oars; and
  • The first $25 on the price of snorkels, goggles, and swimming masks.

Floridians may also enjoy tax-free purchases on the following camping supplies:

  • The first $200 on the price of purchase of tents;
  • The first $50 on the price of sleeping bags, portable hammocks, camping stoves, and collapsible camping chairs; and
  • The first $30 on the price of camping lanterns and flashlights.

Florida shoppers more interested in fishing can find savings on:

  • The first $75 on the price of individual rods and reels; or
  • The first $150 on the price of a set of rods and reels;
  • The first $30 on the price of tackle boxes or bags; and
  • The first $5 on the price of individual bait or fishing tackle; or  
  • The first $10 on the price of multiple bait and tackle items sold together. 

Other recreational savings include tax-free purchases such as: 

  • Up to the first $15 on the price of sunscreen or insect repellant;
  • The first $100 on a pair of sunglasses;
  • The first $200 on a pair of binoculars;
  • The first $30 on the price of water bottles;
  • The first $50 on the price of hydration packs;
  • The first $250 of the sales price of outdoor gas or charcoal grills;
  • The first $50 of the sales price of bicycle helmets; and
  • The first $250 of the sales price of bicycles.

Floridians can also save on equipment used for individual or team sports purposes. This does not include clothing or footwear selling for $40 or less.

Eligible tax-free entertainment events and outings include: 

  • Live music events;
  • Live sporting events;
  • Movies at the movie theater;
  • Entry to a museum, including any annual passes;
  • Entry to a state park, including any annual passes;
  • Entry to a ballet, play, or musical theatre performance;
  • Season tickets for ballets, plays, music events, or musical theatre performances;
  • Entry to a fair, festival, or cultural event; or
  • Access or use of private and/or membership clubs providing physical fitness facilities.

“We are grateful to Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls and the Florida Legislature for their continued support to help Florida families save money as they enjoy spending time outside of the home this summer,” said Shalley. 

This year’s Freedom Week Tax-Free Holiday was established when Governor DeSantis signed HB 7061 into law on May 21. The legislation was championed by House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Representative Bobby Payne.

Florida retailers are ready to help shoppers "Find It In Florida" while searching for supplies and products to get outside and enjoy the Sunshine State. When shoppers "Find It In Florida" and shop local retailers, they help boost the local economy and support community businesses. Learn more about the "Find It In Florida" program at the website.

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.

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Friday, 21 May 2021 11:14

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MAY 21, 2021

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Governor Ron DeSantis Signs HB 7061 Into Florida Statue, Creating Three Tax-Free Holidays for Floridians to Stock Up and Save

Tallahassee, FL – Governor Ron DeSantis today signed HB 7061approving three tax holidays established this session by the Florida Legislature. The law renews two historic sales tax holidays for Florida consumers to prepare for back-to-school and hurricane season. A new tax holiday "2021 Freedom Week" was also created to enable Floridians to save on summer supplies, activities and events. 

"Thank you to Governor DeSantis for bringing meaningful tax relief to Florida families and driving shoppers to Florida’s retail stores with the signing of HB 7061," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "These tax-free holidays enable Florida families to stock up on supplies for hurricane season, summer fun and back-to-school, and save on taxes. We encourage consumers to shop local during these savings events. Florida’s retail stores stand ready to welcome shoppers with open doors, stocked shelves and extra deals!”

The Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday will run over ten days, beginning on May 28 through June 6. Floridians will find these hurricane preparation supplies to be tax-free:

  • Portable self-powered light source selling for $40 or less;
  • Certain portable radios selling for $50 or less;
  • Tarps selling for $100 or less;
  • Ground anchor systems or tie-down kits selling for $100 or less;
  • A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $50 or less;
  • Packages of certain battery types, selling for $50 or less;
  • A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $60 or less;
  • Portable generators for use in a power outage selling for $1,000 or less; 
  • Reusable ice selling for $20 or less; and
  • Portable power banks selling for $60 or less.

Florida's new 2021 Freedom Week Sales Tax Holiday will begin July 1 through July 7 to encourage residents to enjoy time outside of the house again. The measure will help support local retail businesses and entertainment and boost Florida's economy. Tax-free items include the following events scheduled from July 1 through December 31, 2021: 

  • Live music events;
  • Live sporting events;
  • Movies at the movie theater;
  • Entry to a museum, including any annual passes;
  • Entry to a state park, including any annual passes;
  • Entry to a ballet, play, or musical theatre performance;
  • Season tickets for ballets, plays, music events, or musical theatre performances;
  • Entry to a fair, festival, or cultural event; or
  • Access or use of private and/or membership clubs providing physical fitness facilities.

The holiday also includes tax-free purchases on Florida-related recreational supplies including boating and water activity, camping, fishing, general outdoor supplies and sports equipment. 

The criteria for tax-free savings on boating and water activities include:

  • The first $75 on the price of life jackets and coolers;
  • The first $50 on the price of safety flares;
  • The first $150 on the price of water skis, wakeboards, kneeboards, and recreational inflatable water tubes;
  • The first $300 on the price of paddleboards and surfboards;
  • The first $500 on the price of canoes and kayaks;
  • The first $75 on the price of paddles and oars; and
  • The first $25 on the price of snorkels, goggles, and swimming masks.

Floridians may also enjoy tax-free purchases on the following camping supplies:

  • The first $200 on the price of purchase of tents;
  • The first $50 on the price of sleeping bags, portable hammocks, camping stoves, and collapsible camping chairs; and
  • The first $30 on the price of camping lanterns and flashlights.

Florida shoppers more interested in fishing can find savings on:

  • The first $75 on the price of individual rods and reels; or
  • The first $150 on the price of a set of rods and reels;
  • The first $30 on the price of tackle boxes or bags; and
  • The first $5 on the price of individual bait or fishing tackle; or  
  • The first $10 on the price of multiple bait and tackle items sold together. 

Other recreational savings include tax-free purchases such as: 

  • Up to the first $15 on the price of sunscreen or insect repellant;
  • The first $100 on a pair of sunglasses;
  • The first $200 on a pair of binoculars;
  • The first $30 on the price of water bottles;
  • The first $50 on the price of hydration packs;
  • The first $250 of the sales price of outdoor gas or charcoal grills;
  • The first $50 of the sales price of bicycle helmets; and
  • The first $250 of the sales price of bicycles.

Floridians can also save on equipment used for individual or team sports purposes. This does not include clothing or footwear selling for $40 or less.

The Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday is scheduled from July 31 through August 9. Florida families will be eligible to purchase clothing and school supplies without paying sales tax. School-related items include: 

  • Clothing and shoes, priced $60 or less per item; 
  • Backpacks, handbags and wallets, priced $60 or less per item; 
  • School supplies, priced $15 or less per item; and
  • Personal computers or personal computer-related accessories, up to $1,000 per item will be tax-free.

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.

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Tuesday, 04 May 2021 12:19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2021

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Retail Sales Are Forecasted to Break Records, As Consumers Plan to Shower Mom With Some Extra Love This Year

Tallahassee, FL –  The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) announced today that Mother's Day spending this year is expected to break records, according to a recent survey. The growing enthusiasm to celebrate moms can be attributed to renewed consumer confidence as the COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue to expand. 

In a recent survey released by the National Retail Federation (NRF), new data reveals that shoppers plan to spend up to $28.1 billion this year to show some motherly love or $1.4 billion more than the previous year.

The NRF predicts an increase in celebratory activities, with 80% of adults in the United States planning to celebrate Mother's Day. Families plan to shower mom with some extra love, to make up for the distance from last year's holiday with 49% of consumers planning an outing to brunch or another activity. 

"Florida retailers want to help shoppers show mom the love she deserves this Mother's Day and every day," says Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "When searching for the perfect item to show mom your love and appreciation, don't look further than your home state. For all your shopping needs, remember to shop local and 'Find It In Florida.' Our retailers are stocked and ready to help you find the perfect gift."

Shoppers plan to splurge on jewelry and electronics for mom. In fact, 59% of the $1.4 billion increase in spending can be attributed to jewelry. 

In all, the top 10 gifts shoppers are planning for mom include: 

  • Greeting Cards - 72%
  • Flowers - 68%
  • Special outing - 49%
  • Gift cards - 47%
  • Clothing/Accessories - 40%
  • Jewelry - 35%
  • Housewares/Gardening tools - 26%
  • Personal Service - 25%
  • Books/CDs - 23%
  • Electronics - 20%

This year, nearly half (44%) of shoppers plan to find mom a gift that is unique or different. Floridians plan to visit department stores, online retailers, local specialty shops, like florists or jewelers, and small businesses to find the perfect present. 

While 34% of shoppers still plan to purchase their gifts online, the total is down from 2020 when most consumers were at home during the pandemic. However, overall online shopping for the holiday is still above pre-pandemic levels. 

“If you prefer to shop online, you can still shop local. Choose to support Florida businesses by shopping online at brands that have a physical presence in Florida," said Shalley. “When you ‘Find It In Florida,’ you’re supporting jobs and your community."

Florida retailers are stocked up and ready to help shoppers safely celebrate the mother figures in their lives with a variety of safe and convenient methods.

  • Visit: Visit your local retailer to shop in-store. 
  • Buy Online: Find your favorite Florida retailer online to select what you need for pickup in-store. 
  • Curbside or Delivery: Call your local retailer to place an order for curbside pick-up or delivery, where available.

When shoppers "Find It In Florida" and shop local retailers, they help boost the local economy and support community businesses. Learn more about the "Find It In Florida" program at the website

For more information on the predictions of the National Retail Federation, visit: https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/mothers-day-spending-total-281-billion

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
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.  

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Thursday, 29 April 2021 09:59

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 28, 2021

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Legislation Heads to Governor's Desk Permitting Pharmacists to Administer Flu Vaccines to Individuals Aged Seven & Up 

Tallahassee, FL –  The Florida House today passed Senate Bill 768, sponsored by Sen. Dennis Baxley. The legislation will allow pharmacists to administer influenza vaccines to individuals aged seven or older. SB 768 also permits pharmacists or registered interns under the supervision of a pharmacist to administer all approved immunizations and vaccinations to individuals aged 18 and up.

The Florida Senate previously passed SB 768 on Tuesday, April 21. The House took up the Senate companion bill of HB 1063, sponsored by Rep. Juan Fernandez-Barquin.

“Florida retail pharmacies play an important role in delivering vaccines safely and effectively at locations convenient to Floridians. This measure is critical to ensuring Floridians have access to health needs, during a global pandemic and well beyond," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “We are grateful for the support of Florida Senate and House to ensure Floridians can receive continued access to life-saving vaccines at our Florida retail pharmacy stores.”

The legislation follows Governor Ron DeSantis's emergency order issued last year to allow Florida retail pharmacies to administer approved immunizations and vaccines on the Adult Immunization Schedule by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We are thankful to the bill sponsors, Sen. Baxley, Rep. Fernandez-Barquin, as well as, Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez, for their leadership to ensure a safer, healthier Florida beyond the pandemic," stated Shalley. 

The legislation will now be sent to the Governor's office for his consideration to sign into Florida statute. If signed, the measure will go into effect on July 1, 2021.

To read SB 768, visit: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/768/.

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.

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Thursday, 22 April 2021 10:18

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 22, 2021

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

On Earth Day, the Florida Retail Federation Discusses New Retail Recycling Intiatitives for Environmental Sustainability

The recent 'Every Bottle Back' initiative, by the American Beverage Association, aims to reclaim plastic bottles to be repurposed into new bottles.

Tallahassee, FL – In celebration of Earth Day, the Florida Retail Federation (FRF) is highlighting the new initiatives retail is taking in supporting environmental sustainability. 

Is your favorite beverage sitting in the fridge or pantry? Chances are that beverage bottle is made of recycled materials ready to be recycled again.

'Every Bottle Back' is an initiative created by the American Beverage Association in partnership with leading beverage companies including, The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo, to reduce the beverage industry's use of new plastic. The program teams up with environmental and sustainability leaders to reclaim used plastic bottles to be remade into new bottles. 

Elizabeth DeWitt, president and CEO of the Florida Beverage Association (FlaBev), spearheads the initiative in Florida. DeWitt works with bottlers and distributors to ensure that Florida retailers are making the effort to maintain and protect the beauty of Florida's landscape and resources. 

"Recycling is all about a change of mind in our industries," said DeWitt. "The more we can partner with the retailers and others in the community to educate people on the benefits of recycling and how they can do it easily, the more success we will have in making a positive impact on the environment."

The beverage industry partnered with recyclers to help to design a bottle specifically made to be recycled and reused with food-grade products. 

But their environmental efforts expand beyond reusable bottles. The Florida Beverage Association's community grant program helps educate communities, statewide, on the value of Florida's natural resources and helps create recycling projects in their own backyard.

The Florida Beverage Association in partnership with the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America has contributed over $170,000 to community organizations throughout Florida.

Last year, DeWitt worked with the University of Florida through the Florida Sea Grant to provide funding to install seabins at marinas to help collect waste and litter found in the water. The seabins will be installed this year as the project was delayed due to COVID-19. They also supported "ReThink Your Waste," an interactive exhibit in Orlando that explores individual's roles in waste diversion through the lens of a circular economy. 

This year, the Florida Beverage Association is working with Orange County Public Schools on the "Recycle Right Campaign" to provide over 200,000 local students with the visual collateral to properly recycle in schools. They are also working with the city of Miami to utilize Keep America Beautiful's "Waste in Place" curriculum in schools through its "Connect Kids and Community" program. This initiative will help to close the gap on recycling knowledge of students and residents in key communities. 

DeWitt says these programs are integral to educating the community by starting with the youngest generations to help create the foundation of accountability. So much so, her sons have already begun taking action.

"I have two small boys, and they tell me if I am not recycling something correctly. They are on my case!"

As Earth Day celebrates its 51st anniversary this year, the beverage retail industry is focused on continuing to drive innovation in environmental sustainability. America's leading beverage companies have introduced new efforts to reduce emissions and increase efficiencies. This includes: 

  • Introducing hybrid-electric commercial trucks to reduce emissions up to 30% per vehicle;
  • Converting over 250 service vehicles to fuel-efficient hybrid cars for a 20% increase in fuel efficiency;
  • Increasing use of alternative fuels; and
  • Monitoring miles per gallon to lower emissions and improve fuel economy.

Retail beverage companies have also focused their efforts on water conversation. U.S. companies reduced their water use by 4.4% per unit of product since 2011.

Florida's retailers are committed to working on improving their operations in the store and behind the scenes in a variety of ways. Environmental-friendly actions include:

  • Selling recycled and sustainable products;
  • Investing in energy efficiency for stores and operations;
  • Supporting grant initiatives to educate communities;
  • Improving supply chain performance; or
  • Implementing recycling infrastructure for the store and consumers; and 
  • Cultivating internal green initiatives and goals.

This Earth Day, as consumers consider shopping with a "green" purpose, remember to support local, Florida stores. When searching for sustainable products, remember to "Find It In Florida." When Floridian shoppers "Find It In Florida," they are not only helping the environment but also working to keep doors open, boost the local economy and support their communities. 

The Florida Beverage Association (FlaBev) is a key trade association that represents the retail industry, including Florida’s non-alcoholic beverage producers, marketers, bottlers and distributors. Florida's beverage companies support 19,000 jobs to Florida families and provide a $13 billion economic impact to the state.

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.

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Monday, 19 April 2021 10:36

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2021

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Florida Governor Signs SB 50 into Law to Require Out-of-State & Foreign Retailers to Collect and Remit Florida's Sales Tax Owed on Purchases

Tallahassee, FL – Governor Ron DeSantis today signed Senate Bill 50 into Florida law. SB 50 updates Florida’s tax laws to protect consumers from an unwieldy and confusing tax obligation.

Previously, Florida was one out of two states in the nation that had not yet adopted remote seller requirements for out-of-state and foreign retailers.

"Through the passage of SB 50, Governor DeSantis and legislative leaders have acknowledged the pivotal role that the retail industry plays in supporting Florida’s families," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "With this measure signed into law, all businesses can compete on a level playing field and continue to support the 2.7 million Floridians who work in the retail industry. Thank you, Governor DeSantis for your leadership and for providing meaningful relief to Florida retail businesses."

The legislation will allocate the revenue collected to replenish the state's Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund to pre-pandemic levels and then provide a long-term reduction in Business Rent Tax for Florida businesses.

"The tax cut on business rent is an added bonus. With this cost-savings, Florida businesses across all sectors of the economy can reinvest in their community, create jobs and grow their businesses," said Shalley. "We are also grateful for the support of Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, and bill sponsors, Senator Joe Gruters, Representatives Chuck Clemons and Chip LaMarca, for their efforts this session to support local, Florida businesses beyond the pandemic."

To read SB 50, visit: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/50.

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.

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Thursday, 08 April 2021 18:16

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 8, 2021

CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – Upon final passage of SB 50 on the Senate floor today,  Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation, released the following statement:

"There was a resounding sigh of relief from Florida retailers across the state today as they witnessed the passage of SB 50 by both chambers in the State Legislature. This critical legislation applies the online sales tax requirements fairly across all businesses, no matter whether they are headquartered here in Florida, across the country or around the world. By fixing the glitch, the Legislature has also established a source of revenue to replenish the state’s Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund. Importantly, the legislation provides long-term tax relief for all businesses that pay the commercial rent tax. We are thankful for the support of Senate President Wilton Simpson, House Speaker Chris Sprowls and bill sponsors, Senator Joe Gruters, Representatives Chuck Clemons and Chip LaMarca, for their efforts to "fix the glitch" in Florida's tax system."

To read SB 50, visit: https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2021/50.

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.

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