Monday, 01 May 2017 14:06

Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday in Jeopardy

Written by

For Immediate Release: May 1, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Below is a quote from FRF President & CEO R. Scott Shalley regarding the legislature's recent decision NOT to fund the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday:

"The Florida Retail Federation (FRF) applauds Legislative leaders for their work on the 2017 tax package. We are, however, concerned to learn that the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday has been omitted from the current proposal.

The entire State of Florida was affected by hurricanes in 2016. This Tax Holiday provides an extra incentive to consumers to ensure that Floridians are prepared and protected from dangerous storms. Proper preparation saves money and lives. We strongly encourage legislative leaders to reconsider this decision and include the Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday in their final tax package.”

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year as the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide three out of every four 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. In fact, more than three out of four of Florida’s budget dollars come from retail-related activity.

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Wednesday, 05 April 2017 12:25

Easter Expected to Bring Record Spending

Written by

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Consumers expected to spend more than ever before this year, averaging $152 per person; Food, clothing, candy, flowers and decorations lead the way in popularity

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year in supporting Florida’s retail industry, says Floridians will increase their Easter spending to record levels this year, with the per person average expected to top $152, up four percent from 2016. The total expected to be spent nationally is $18.4 billion, up six percent from last year’s record of $17.3 billion and the highest in survey history.

“With Easter falling almost an entire month later than last year, that means warmer weather and more people in the mood to spend money to celebrate,” said FRF President/CEO R. Scott Shalley. “This is great news for Sunshine State retailers, and with more consumers spending more money, we expect stores to be busy in the days leading up to Easter.”

According to the survey, which was conducted by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend $5.8 billion on food (purchased by 87 percent of shoppers), $3.3 billion on clothing (50 percent), $2.9 billion on gifts (61 percent), $2.6 billion on candy (89 percent), $1.2 billion on flowers (39 percent), $1.1 billion on decorations (43 percent) and $788 million on greeting cards (48 percent).

The 50 percent of consumers planning to buy clothing is up from 45 percent last year and is the highest level in a decade while the $3.3 billion expected to be spent is up 9 percent from last year.

With shopping lists in hand, 58 percent of consumers will head to discount stores, 46 percent will go to department stores and 26 percent will shop at local small businesses. In addition, 27 percent will shop online, up from 21 percent last year. Among smartphone owners, 28 percent will research products on their devices while 18 percent will use their phones to make a purchase, while another 9 percent will use apps to do their research or purchase products.

Consumers plan to celebrate Easter in several different ways: 61 percent will visit family and friends, 57 percent will cook a holiday meal, 52 percent will go to church and 17 percent will go to a restaurant. Children will have plenty to look forward to after the Easter Bunny arrives: 35 percent of consumers will have an Easter egg hunt and 16 percent will open gifts. In addition, some consumers will celebrate with more leisurely activities: 43 percent will watch TV, 10 percent will shop online and 9 percent will head to the movies or shop in a store.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year as the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide three out of every four 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. In fact, more than three out of four of Florida’s budget dollars come from retail-related activity. For more information, visit the FRF website, and follow FRF on Facebook and Twitter.

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For Immediate Release: March 28, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller jamThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

FRF, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce sued City of Miami Beach over proposed ordinance increasing minimum wage in spite of state preemption; 11th Circuit Court rules in favor of business community

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Three leading business organizations celebrate today’s ruling by the 11th Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County invalidating the wage ordinance recently adopted by the City of Miami Beach. The Florida Retail Federation, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and Florida Chamber of Commerce filed the suit against the 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 suit was filed by Charles Caulkins of the South Florida law firm Fisher Philips LLC.

“This is great news for Florida retailers and the entire business community, as this ruling does not place an additional mandate on local businesses by requiring Miami Beach business owners to provide wages above what the state has previously established in law,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “We thank our coalition partners for their commitment to protecting businesses, and we look forward to doing our part to protect our members and ensure that Florida remains a great location to start and grow a business.”

“We applaud this ruling which preserves the strength of Florida’s tourism-based economy and substantiates our belief that local governments shouldn’t dictate the relationship between an employer and employee. This is a significant win for Florida’s hospitality industry and the 1.4 million employees the tourism industry supports. We hope this ruling will serve as a guiding beacon for the entire nation to follow in limiting regulatory overreach by local governments,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.

“The Florida Chamber of Commerce is focused on creating good jobs and opportunities, and today’s ruling will help ensure that a patchwork of government wage regulations and mandates doesn’t harm job seekers and small businesses from greater opportunities toward prosperity,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

The City of Miami Beach recently 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 state statute allows for local government entities to adopt ordinances to exceed this wage for those working or contracting with the local government.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year as the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers are responsible for 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. In fact, more than three out of four of Florida’s budget dollars come from retail-related activity.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RESTAURANT AND 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.

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.

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Thursday, 09 March 2017 14:00

St. Patrick's Day Spending to Reach Record High This Year

Written by

For Immediate Release: March 9, 2017
CONTACT: James Miller - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Spending expected to exceed previous records, totaling $5.3 billion nationwide; Per person spending to reach almost $38

TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year in supporting Florida’s retail industry, announced today that spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to reach a record of $37.92 per person this year, which would set a record. The total amount spent nationally is expected to top $5.3 billion, up significantly from last year’s total of $4.4 billion.

“We continue to see spending on holidays and celebrations reaching or exceeding record highs, which reinforces the strength of our economy and the confidence that consumers feel,” said FRF President & CEO Scott Shalley. “Even though St. Patrick’s Day isn’t one of the bigger spending holidays, we still expect Florida retailers to see a nice bump in sales, particularly those who offer additional discounts and sales to attract customers.”

According to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to reach $5.3 billion, an all-time high in the survey’s 13-year history. More than 139 million Americans plan to celebrate the Irish holiday, and are expected to spend an average of $37.92 per person, up from last year’s $35.37 and a new record that tops the previous record of $36.52 set in 2015. The $5.3 billion total is up dramatically from last year’s $4.4 billion and tops the previous record of $4.8 billion set in 2014.

According to the survey, 83 percent of celebrants will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31 percent plan to make a special dinner and 27 percent will head to a party at a bar or restaurant. Twenty-three percent will decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme and 15 percent will attend a private party. In addition, 15 percent are planning to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade, especially those living in the Northeast (21 percent).

The survey found that 52 percent of celebrants will purchase food, 41 percent beverages, 28 percent apparel or accessories, 22 percent decorations and 14 percent buy candy. Of those making purchases, 39 percent will go to grocery stores, 29 percent to discount stores, 21 percent to bars/restaurants and 18 percent to department stores.

The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old, with 77 percent celebrating, but those 25-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average $46.55.

The survey, which asked 7,609 consumers about their St. Patrick’s Day plans, was conducted February 1-8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year as the statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Florida retailers provide three out of every four 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. In fact, more than three out of four of Florida’s budget dollars come from retail-related activity.

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