For Immediate Release: December 14, 2016
Florida Retail Federation, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce file suit stating city ordinance is in violation of state statute and will significantly burden businesses
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Three leading Florida business organizations filed suit today against the City of Miami Beach regarding a recently passed 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. The Florida Retail Federation, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and Florida Chamber of Commerce filed the suit which states that the ordinance disregards a state statute which establishes 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. The suit was filed by Charles Caulkins of the South Florida law firm Fisher Philips LLC.
“We don’t support any mandates in which local governments are dictating what private businesses should be paying their employees, as it should be up to each individual employer to determine what is fair and also helps their business remain competitive,” said FRF President/CEO Randy Miller. “This increase will certainly lead to lost jobs, as small businesses, which make up 80 percent of businesses in Florida, only have a finite amount of money to spend on salaries, and being forced to pay certain employees more, means cutting the salaries or jobs of others, or potentially closing the business altogether.”
“The Florida Chamber of Commerce is focused on creating good jobs and opportunity for everyone and, unfortunately, a patchwork of government wage regulations and mandates hurts job seekers, small businesses, and Florida," said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
“This unconstitutional mandate sets a dangerous precedent, threatens the strength of Florida’s businesses and increases costs to consumers. This is a critical issue that must be addressed to protect all of Florida’s employers, including the $89.1 billion hospitality industry which employs 1.2 million dedicated workers in the Sunshine State. The government shouldn’t dictate the relationship between an employer and employee. If this ordinance is upheld it could have severe, unintended consequences for employers and employees across the Sunshine State, and across the nation,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA RETAIL FEDERATION
Founded in 1937, the Florida Retail Federation is 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.
ABOUT THE FLORIDA CHAMBER
Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, 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 crucial to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Florida Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FLChamber.com for more information. 136 South Bronough Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301.
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 $89.1 billion hospitality industry which represents 23% of Florida’s economy and more than 1.2 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: December 5, 2016
Florida’s leading retail advocacy organization highlights those issues and topics important to retailers and which will be the focus in the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session
TALLAHASSEE, FL – With the Florida House of Representatives in committee weeks this week and the Senate set to follow suit next week, the Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced its 2017 Legislative Agenda in preparation for the upcoming 2017 Legislative Session in March. The agenda highlights those issues which are important to the success of retailers and Florida’s business community and which FRF will be focused on.
Visa has announced a three-year postponement of the liability shift date for self-serve gas pumps to be certified to process smart chip card transactions. Instead of the original date of Oct. 1, 2017, it is now Oct. 1, 2020, according to an announcement on Visa's website.
The company acknowledged that "five years after announcing our liability shift, there are still issues with a sufficient supply of regulatory-compliant EMV [Europay MasterCard Visa-standard] hardware and software to enable most upgrades by 2017." Stating that "fraud rates at fuel pumps are relatively low -- approximately 1.3 percent of total U.S. payment fraud," the company explained that it is moving the liability shift date and that, "We believe we have reached a balanced conclusion for providing needed, additional time to merchants while continuing to push forward with the migration to chip." Visa said it will monitor payment trends at the pump to help gas-station operators and card-issuing banks prevent fraud during the interim period.
The decision to delay the deadline is the second time in a month that Visa has announced moves to appease relationships with merchants after years of tension between the two groups fueled by arguments over fees. Last week, the firm said t would revise its rules for using the new chip technology for debit-card transactions after some retailers claimed the requirements inhibited competition.
For Immediate Release: November 15, 2015
With Florida’s economy continuing to strengthen and more residents and tourists feeling good about their own economic situation and willing to spend money, the holiday shopping season looks bright for retailers
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced today that the upcoming shopping season looks very bright for Florida’s retailers, thanks to the strength of the state’s economy and increased confidence among consumers. FRF is predicting a 4 percent increase in sales for Sunshine State retailers, which is expected to outpace the national average of between 3.3-3.5 percent.
“Florida’s economy remains strong, unemployment is at a 9-year low, housing remains hot and 100 million extra shoppers in the form of tourists are expected again, which should lead to a successful holiday shopping season for our 270,000 retailers statewide,” said President/CEO Randy Miller. “Smart and savvy retailers will seize on this positive momentum by incorporating discounts, sales and other perks to stand out from the crowd this season.”
Back in September, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) issued an emergency rule that would require businesses responsible for instances of pollution to notify the state and the public about those instances on an expedited timeline. Under the emergency rule, notification is required to the DEP and to local government officials and the media.
DEP is now in the process of passing a final rule to address pollution notification. Below is the revised proposed rule:
Positive changes have been made to the rule. The rule is now more clear about what amounts of pollutants trigger the notification requirements. But the rule still raises concerns about the cost to business and the potential for ineffective and inaccurate information being shared with the public. We believe the DEP should be the central clearinghouse for the notification of pollution.
We are submitting our comments to the DEP to encourage further changes to the rule. Please share this rule within your companies and let us know what concerns you have. If you have real-life examples regarding how this could negatively impact your business, please share those with us so that we can educate the DEP about the impact of this rule.
Comments will only be received by the state agency up until 5:00 pm on Wednesday, November 9, so please get back with us as soon as you are able. We appreciate your input.
Retailers love to talk about “Millennials” — but how successfully are they reaching this consumer group, and what can brands do to target young consumers more effectively? At Retail’s Digital Summit, Gabbi Baker of OgilvyOne Worldwide and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Hunter Thomas — both Millennials themselves — went “beyond the meme” to offer proven tactics for engaging younger shoppers.
Although broadly defined as consumers aged 18-34, the Millennial group encompasses many different personas, all of which retailers need to address. From mavens (Millennial moms) to skeptics, one message definitely does not fit all. Therefore, retailers need to focus on what potential customers who fall into this bracket want from their shopping experiences, and tailor their offerings accordingly.
Baker and Thomas waded through mountains of research on the Millennial generation (much of which is contradictory) and drew on their own opinions to outline five things Millennials expect from retailers: read more
The retail industry saw an increase of 10,000 jobs in September over August, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation, which excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. The gains came as the Labor Department announced that the U.S. economy overall gained 156,000 jobs.
“What we saw in September were very decent gains that reflect the general conditions of the economy and our expectations of a strong second half of 2016,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “With modest gains spread across key business categories including, clothing, electronics and furniture, what we’re seeing is reasonable when taking into consideration the economy is in the range of full employment.”
On a three-month-average, retail jobs as calculated by NRF have increased by 11,000 positions over last year. On a year-over-year basis, retail jobs have increased by 194,000 positions. read more
WASHINGTON – October is expected to be the second-busiest month of the year for the nation’s major retail container ports as merchants stock up for the holiday shopping season, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“The holidays are nearly here, and from warehouses to store shelves, retailers are making sure they have the merchandise on hand to meet consumers’ demands,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “November and December are the busiest time for holiday shopping, but this is the month for the behind-the-scenes supply chain work that ensures shoppers will find what they want, where they want it, when they want it.”
Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.71 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in August, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 5 percent from July and up 1.7 percent from August 2015, and has been the busiest month of the year so far. One TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.
Volume dipped in September to an estimated 1.64 million TEU but was still up 0.9 percent from last year. October is forecast at 1.65 million TEU, up 6 percent from last year; November at 1.54 million TEU, up 3.9 percent, and December at 1.48 million TEU, up 3.4 percent. read more