Tuesday, 04 August 2020 12:23 Written by

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AUGUST 3, 2020
CONTACT: Amanda Bevis (202) 680-9262

Florida Retailers Offer Safe Ways to Save Money During Back-to-School Tax Holiday

Tallahassee, FL – Florida retail stores are preparing to safely help families save money while shopping for school supplies during the state’s Back to School Sales Tax Holiday Friday, Aug. 7 through Aug. 9. “Florida retailers stand ready to help families meet their school supply needs this year,” said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. “Whether children are learning from home or heading back to school this fall, families can safely shop and save money over the tax-free weekend.”

    The following items are available for purchase tax-free Aug. 7-9:
  • Masks, 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 plan to spend a record amount to properly prepare students for school this year. Families with children in elementary school through high school anticipate spending an average $789.49 per family, topping the previous year’s record of $696.70.

About 63 percent of K-12 families expect to buy computers and other electronics this year, up from 54 percent last year, spending at an average $274.44, up from $203.44 last year. College students also anticipate investing in new computers as 60 percent plan to buy electronics, up from 53 percent last year, and they expect to spend more at an average $261.52, up from $234.69.

There are more than 270,000 retail stores in Florida, and one in five jobs is tied to Florida retail. To ensure customers can safely shop, there are three ways you can purchase tax-free supplies from Florida retailers.

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

Many stores are taking safety precautions, including social distancing and wearing masks, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Help protect others by following CDC guidelines and local laws.

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 7097 into law on April 8. The legislation was championed by Budget Chairs Sen. Rob Bradley and Rep. Travis Cummings, and the tax-free holiday was a priority of Sen. Joe Gruters, Sen. Keith Perry, Sen. Kelli Stargel and Rep. Bryan Avila.

The forecast on spending this season is informed by a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation. For more information, visit: https://nrf.com/media-center/press-releases/coronavirus-could-push-back-school-spending-record-level-uncertain.

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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Florida Retailers Stock Up on Dad Gear Up As Survey Shows Consumers Plan To Spend More on Dad This Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 9, 2020
CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (202) 680-9262

Tallahassee, FL – As Florida continues to reopen the state, consumers plan to go all out for Father's Day. A recent survey by the National Retail Federation reveals consumers are optimistic about celebrating the dads, grandfathers and other father figures in their lives. The report reveals that more than three-quarters (77%) of consumers believe that Father's Day is important this year specifically because of the coronavirus pandemic. They plan to spend an average of $149 on a gift for dad, an increase of $10 over 2019.

"Due to the pandemic, lifestyles have changed drastically and many of the every day activities we take for granted were placed on pause," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "It's no surprise that Floridians are eager to find a unique gift that stands out to show dad their appreciation during this season. Florida retailers are dedicated to helping customers find a gift that matters and creates that special memory this Father's Day."

With the optimism brought on by the state reopening, many consumers are excited about the possibility of celebrating their dads in person. However, the survey revealed that 58%  of consumers are more likely to celebrate Father's Day virtually this year. 

When consumers were asked what they are looking for when purchasing gifts for dad, 41% indicated they plan to find a gift that is unique or different and 36% said they are looking for a gift that creates a special memory.

This extended time at home has provided the opportunity to tackle home projects and it's clear consumers are making sure dad has the gear he needs to launch his own DIY projects. According to the survey, 21% of consumers are planning to show dad some love with home improvement and gardening supplies.

Shoppers also plan to spend big on Dad in these other popular gift categories:

  • Greeting cards – 59%
  • Clothing – 46%
  • Gift cards – 44%
  • A special outing – 41%
  • Personal care – 25%
  • Books and CDs – 24%
  • Electronics – 23%
  • Tools or  appliances – 21%
  • Sporting goods – 20%

With residents able to shop in-store, Florida retailers are working diligently to ensure consumers can depend on a clean, safe and comfortable shopping environment while finding what they need this Father's Day. Florida's retailers' alternative methods continue to remain open, as well. Consumers can shop Florida retail online or through curbside or delivery services, where available.  

Many of Florida's retail stores, except those in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, were permitted to reopen at full occupancy on Friday, June 6, under Phase 12 recommendations of Governor Ron DeSantis's "Safe. Smart. Step-By-Step" plan for Florida's recovery.  Employees and consumers are still encouraged to abide by CDC guidelines. 

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/insights/holiday-and-seasonal-trends/fathers-day

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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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 8, 2020
CONTACT: Amanda Bevis (202) 680-9262

Florida Governor Signs HB 7097 to Renew Back-to-School & Hurricane Preparedness Tax-Free Holidays

Tallahassee, FL – Governor Ron DeSantis signed HB 7097 into law today, which renews sales tax holidays for Florida consumers in preparation for back-to-school items and hurricane season supplies.

"These programs are needed now more than ever," said Scott Shalley, president and CEO of the Florida Retail Federation. "Not only do these important tax-free holidays provide relief to consumers buying necessities, but they will inject a shot of adrenaline into Florida's retail businesses after suffering through the COVID-19 pandemic and forced closures. Thank you to the Florida Legislature and Governor DeSantis for delivering this tax relief."

The Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday will run the weekend of May 29 through June 4. Floridians will find these hurricane preparation supplies to be tax-free:

  • Portable self-powered light source selling for $20 or less;
  • Certain portable radios selling for $50 or less;
  • Tarps selling for $50 or less;
  • Ground anchor systems or tie-down kits selling for $50 or less;
  • A gas or diesel fuel tank selling for $25 or less;
  • Packages of certain battery types, selling for $30 or less;
  • A nonelectric food storage cooler selling for $30 or less;
  • Portable generators for use in a power outage selling for $750 or less; and
  • Reusable ice selling for $10 or less.

The Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday is scheduled from August 7 through 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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Tallahassee, FL – Just hours after the Florida Legislature passed HB 389, which expands pharmacists’ ability to quickly diagnose and treat Florida patients with influenza and strep, along with minor, nonchronic health conditions such as ringworm and lice, the Governor signed the measure into law.

“On behalf of pharmacies that provide essential services to Florida families throughout our state, we are grateful to Governor Ron DeSantis for supporting this important bill,” said Scott Shalley, Florida Retail President & CEO. “With the ability for pharmacists to provide immediate testing and treatment for flu and strep, patients in Florida can learn their diagnosis, access treatment and find relief faster.”

HB 389 was passed earlier today by both the Florida House and the Florida Senate. It was sent immediately to the Governor, and he signed it into law. The bill goes into effect on July 1.

Last year in the United States, 42 million people were sick with the flu in the, and more than 61,000 of those died. Making sure all Florida residents have access to flu testing and treatment quickly is critical to save lives.

Currently, 17 other states already allow pharmacists to test and treat for the flu. The House bill requires pharmacists to have a collaborative practice agreement with a licensed physician and undergo additional training to be able to diagnose and treat the medical conditions listed.

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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