For Immediate Release: June 27, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

With the holiday landing in the middle of the week, consumers won’t be spending quite as much on food as last year, however 2018 spending is still expected to be 2nd highest on record

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating more than 80 years of supporting Florida’s retail industry, expects spending on food for Fourth of July cookouts and picnics to be down slightly this year due to the holiday falling on a Wednesday and fewer consumers free to celebrate. However, the total spending nationally of $6.9 billion is still the second-highest on record and per person spending of $75.35 is a new record.

“The Wednesday timing of Fourth of July will unfortunately mute some of the parties and festivities that typically surround this holiday, but total spending on food will remain near record levels, which is great news for Florida retailers,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “Florida historically follows or exceeds the national estimates, and with our economy strong and consumer confidence high, this should still be a fruitful holiday for retailers.”

Americans are expected to spend $6.9 billion on food for Fourth of July cookouts and picnics next month down slightly from last year’s record of $7.1 billion as fewer people say they will turn out for the Wednesday holiday, according to an annual survey by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation.

According to the survey, over 216 million Americans (87 percent) plan to observe Independence Day, down slightly from last year’s 219 million (88 percent). Nearly 153 million (62 percent) are planning a cookout or picnic, spending an average of $75.35 per person, a new record topping last year’s $73.42. (The numbers cover only food items and not other holiday-related items.)

Other Independence Day celebrations include partaking in fireworks or a community celebration (106 million) and attending a parade (30 million). Fourth of July is also a popular time for traveling with 31 million planning to head out of town. That’s down from last year’s 33 million and 25 percent said higher gas prices would affect their plans, but the decline in travel could also be related to the timing of the holiday.

The survey found that 62 percent of consumers already own an American flag, 51 percent have patriotic apparel such as a T-shirt or hat, and 38 percent own decorations. Overall, only 27 percent plan to purchase additional patriotic merchandise, but the number jumps to 44 percent for those ages 18-24 and declines steadily for older individuals.

The survey of 7,199 consumers was conducted June 5-13 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

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
The National Retail Federation is the world’s largest retail trade association. Based in Washington, D.C., NRF represents 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: June 21, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Senator Bean has fought on behalf of Florida’s retail industry on issues like felony threshold and expanding access to healthcare, and is the choice for Florida’s premier retail industry association

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) PAC today announced its endorsement of incumbent Aaron Bean for the Florida Senate. Bean, a Republican, is running for re-election in Senate District 4 which includes all of Duval County and parts of Nassau County.

“Senator Bean’s support of Sunshine State retailers has been instrumental particularly in fighting to ensure the felony threshold wasn’t raised and expanding access to healthcare to help Florida families,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “Our members are appreciative of his efforts, and we know we can count on Senator Bean's continued support when he returns to the Florida Senate.”

Bean currently works for UF Health Jacksonville as the Relationship Development Officer and is the owner of the High Energy Auction Company.

Beginning in 2000, Bean served eight years in the Florida House of Representatives, including serving as Chair of the Healthcare Appropriations Committee from 2004 through 2006. From 2006 through 2008, his role was expanded when he became chairman of the House Health Care Council, which was not only charged with crafting Florida’s health care budget but also became the primary body for creating health care policy. In 2008, Bean also chaired the Duval legislative delegation.

Prior to being elected to the Florida House, Senator Bean served as a Commissioner and Mayor of Fernandina Beach. His extensive record of public service includes serving on the First Coast YMCA Board of Directors, Big Brothers & Big Sisters and the United Way.

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, 20 June 2018 09:08

FRF 2018 Legislative Session Wrap Up

Written by

We are happy to share FRF’s success this past Legislative Session! In total, the Florida Retail Federation team was actively engaged in more than 25 pieces of legislation and multiple budget issues that had an impact on our industry. We are pleased with the proposed tax package that was approved which includes a 3-day Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday, an expanded 7-day Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday and a continued reduction in the business rent tax. We are also excited to share the news that FRF was able to keep the felony threshold at its current limit of $300. This will deter retail theft and organized retail crime and help protect our smaller businesses. FRF fought all session to not give criminals a cost of living increase on the backs of retailers. We were also successful in not having the state’s beauty industry regulations lowered. With Florida already having some of the lowest required training hours in the country, FRF expressed the importance of not reducing these hours. Keeping the hours as they are will help ensure the safety and happiness of consumers.

FRF pushed for a number of state preemptions that were included in bills at one point during session – regarding general retail sales, sales of cats & dogs and the sale and use of plastic straws. Even though we were unsuccessful in getting them passed, we feel that a great dialogue has been started on the importance of state preemptions which will help us significantly as look at trying again on these preemptions and others next session.

Below is a list of bills and their final outcomes.


GENERAL BUSINESS

SB 348 SB 1014 / HB 6039 | Disposable Plastic Bags
FRF Position: OPPOSE  
Status Update:  The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does: This bill would remove the current preemption from law and allow any city or county to pass regulations on plastic bags.  If this was to happen, we would have a patchwork of regulation throughout the state.

HB 7009 | Workers’ Comp
FRF Position: Neutral
Status Update: The bill did not pass.
What This Bill Does: The House bill seeks to address the dramatic increase in workers’ compensation premiums expected following opinions issued by the Florida Supreme Court.  Unfortunately, the bill doesn’t go far enough.  It does seek to control some claimant attorney fees, require specify of pleading, and require a good faith effort to settle.  It also clarifies and codifies a previous decision of the Florida Supreme Court relating to Temporary Total Disability.

SB 1040 / HB 833 | Organized Retail Crime-Aggregation
FRF Position: SUPPORT 
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does:  This bill would aggregate misdemeanors that add up to $10,000 within 90 days and make them a felony.

SB 166 / HB 1441 | Minimum Wage 
FRF Position: OPPOSE
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does: This bill would adjust the way the state calculates the increases in minimum wage.

SB 928 SB 1218 / HB 713 | Increase Minimum Threshold for Felonies 
FRF Position: OPPOSE
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does: This bill would increase the felony threshold from $300 (current) to $1000 and/or $1500 thus resulting in higher priced items being stolen from Florida retailers.

SB 1392 SB 644 / HB 489 HB 1199Pre-Arrest Diversion Programs
FRF Position: Neutral
Status Update: Passed and headed to the Governor.
What This Bill Does: Establishes a model pre-arrest diversion program for adults that law enforcement can participate in.

SB 1076 / HB 1219 | Franchises 
FRF Position: OPPOSE
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does: This bill attempts to regulate the Franchisor and Franchisee relationship through their contracts.

SB 526 SB 1114 / HB 15 HB 1041 | Deregulation of Professions and Occupations
FRF Position: OPPOSE
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does:  This bill would significantly reduce the number of cosmetology, hairdresser and barber education requirements.  Thus compromising consumer safety.

SB 1534 / HB 7007 HB 7003 | Local Lobbying Registration
FRF Position: SUPPORT
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does: We spend a significant amount of time and resources fighting local governments on bad ordinances.  Each local government has their own set of “lobbying” rules and fees.  This bill would create a statewide lobbyist registration for local government and a fee not to exceed $20.

SB 292 | Solar Energy 
FRF Position: SUPPORT
Status Update: The bill did not pass.
What This Bill Does: This bill adds to the definition of “public utility” a business that utilizes renewable energy.  This bill would allow shopping centers to sell back excess solar energy to their other tenants.

SB 1372 /HB 605  | Mandating the Sale of a Legal Product 
FRF Position: OPPOSE
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does: This bill mandates that pharmacies carry prescription lock boxes in their inventory.

SB 1126 / HB 1311 | Check Cashing 
FRF Position: SUPPORT
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does:  This bill would increase the retail exemption from $2,000 to $7,500 allowing more checks to be cashed at our retailers.

SB 1856 | Beverage Container Deposits
FRF Position: OPPOSE
Status Update: The bill did not pass.
What This Bill Does:  Creates a refund value for recycled beverage containers. Requires retailers to collect these deposits and issue refunds.

SB 1224 / HB 961 | Beer Glasses for Retailers
FRF Position: SUPPORT
Status Update: Passed and headed to Governor.
What This Bill Does: This language would allow a retailer to accept branded glassware from a distributor for on-premises consumption.

SB 1052 / HB 851Lost or Abandoned Property
FRF Position: SUPPORT
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does: Provides for disposal or donation of personal property lost or abandoned on premises of certain complexes or facilities if such property is unclaimed after 30 days.


TAXES

SB 76 / HB 519 | Small Business Sales Tax Holiday 
FRF Position: Neutral
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does: This bill would allow for a 1 day sales tax holiday following Black Friday for certain size small businesses.

SB 816 / HB 69 | Annual Sales Tax Holiday for Veterans
FRF Position: Neutral
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does:  Providing an annual sales tax holiday for veterans.

HB 7087 SB 620Taxation
FRF Position: SUPPORT
Status Update:  To be voted on Sunday, 3/11/2018.
What This Bill Does:  This is the Annual Sales Tax Package that includes: Back to School Sales Tax Holiday| August 3rd-August 5th (Clothing, shoes & bags $60 or less. School supplies $15 or less), Disaster Preparedness Tax Holiday| June 1st - June 7th, and Business Rent Tax Reduction (.1%).


PHARMACY

SB 524 / HB 431 | Strep & Flu Tests 
FRF Position: SUPPORT
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does:  For our Pharmacy Council members this would allow your pharmacists to expand their scope of practice and allow them to test & treat for flu and strep. For general retailers, this is another access point for healthcare for your employees.

SB 8  / HB 21 | Controlled Substances
FRF Position: Neutral
Status Update: Passed and headed to the Governor.
What This Bill Does:  This bill is the opioid abuse package. It includes three of FRF’s priorities: limits on first fills, Doctors reporting to the PDMP and E-Prescribing for C2’s. Additionally, it includes language for Pharmacists to report to check the PDMP for certain drugs as well.


GROCERY/ CONVENIENCE STORE

SM 1016  / HM 847 | Restricting Eligible SNAP Benefits 
FRF Position: OPPOSE
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does: This is a memorial asking Congress to prohibit the use of SNAP benefits on soda.

SB 1020 / HB 667 | Alcohol Delivery Clarification
FRF Position: SUPPORT 
Status Update: Passed and headed to the Governor.
What This Bill Does:  This bill clarifies that businesses and third parties can deliver alcohol and order it electronically. 

SB 994 / HB 797Tobacco Products
FRF Position: OPPOSE
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does: Restrictions for retailers on E-Cigs and E-liquid. Outlawing any tobacco vending machines.  We opposed any additional regulations and requirements imposed on retailers.

SB 1288 / HB 1029 | Tobacco Products - Increasing the Age
FRF Position: OPPOSE
Status Update: The bills did not pass.
What This Bill Does:  Restrictions on retailers who sell tobacco products. Prohibits tobacco vending machines. Increases age of sale from 18 to 21.

For Immediate Release: June 19, 2018
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Senator Passidomo – who has been a true friend of retail in fighting for tort reform and regulating commerce, among other issues – is the choice for Florida’s premier retail industry association

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) PAC today announced its endorsement of incumbent Kathleen Passidomo for the Florida Senate. Passidomo, a Republican, is running for re-election in Senate District 28 which includes Collier, Hendry, and part of Lee County in Southwest Florida.

"Senator Passidomo has been a true champion for retail by helping ensure Floridians are prepared in the event of a disaster, working towards tort reform, providing more than $150 million in tax relief for Florida families and having the best interests of the state’s businesses at heart,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “We’re eager to continue working with Senator Passidomo on identifying ways to support retailers, families and our industry going forward.”

During her time in the Senate, Passidomo sponsored a Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday which provided Floridians with needed tax relief when purchasing hurricane supplies, and has worked on issues important to Florida retailers like tort reform and regulating commerce activities. This past session, Senator Passidomo continued to fight for broad-based tax relief to families and businesses across the state, resulting in $168.6 million in tax relief.

Senator Passidomo is an attorney with the law firm of Kelly, Passidomo & Alba LLP and has used her background and legal skills to help almost 100 civic, charitable, and business organizations with their corporate documents and governance structure. She also created the Collier County Juvenile Justice Council, served as Co-Chair of the Community Engagement Initiative of the Education Foundation of Collier County-Champions for Learning (“Connect Now”), and as President of the Southwest Florida Land Preservation Trust to chairing the Board of The United Way of Collier County. She also served as President of both the Collier County Bar Association and the Collier County Women’s Bar Association.

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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