For Immediate Release: December 13, 2017
The 3rd District Court of Appeals ruled today in favor of three of Florida’s major business associations – Florida Retail Federation, Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and the Florida Chamber of Commerce – who filed a lawsuit challenging a minimum wage ordinance passed by City of Miami Beach
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation, Florida Chamber of Commerce and Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association all celebrated today’s ruling by the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Miami which affirmed a lower court’s ruling invalidating the minimum wage ordinance recently adopted by the City of Miami Beach. The circuit ruling was appealed by the City in March and the ruling denying that appeal was announced earlier today. The three leading business associations originally 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. Charles Caulkins, James Polkinghorn and Candice Pinares-Baez of the South Florida law firm Fisher Philips LLP represented the business associations in this case.
“This victory today in the district court of appeals is also a victory for businesses,” said R. Scott Shalley, FRF President & CEO. “This ruling sets a precedent for all municipalities discouraging them from passing local ordinances which are in direct violation of state law while also negatively impacting their local businesses. FRF and our coalition partners will continue to protect all Florida businesses against any rules or regulations that may impact their ability to be successful.”
“We applaud the court for siding with job creation and against additional government mandates, and for siding with Floridians looking for jobs and small businesses who are creating them. If communities are serious about creating opportunities for higher wages, they should invest in removing barriers to empower entrepreneurs to grow the economic base – produce more and pay more – based on markets and consumer needs,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.
“We applaud the court’s decision, which should send a message to local governments around the state that, however well intended, each level of government has its limitations on their authority,” said Carol Dover, President and CEO, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association.
In December 2016, the City of Miami Beach passed a city ordinance raising the minimum wage to $10.31/hour starting January 1, 2018, and increasing 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. FRF and the business coalition successfully won that lawsuit in March due to a ruling from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. The City of Miami Beach then filed an appeal in December 2016 with the 3rd District Court of Appeals who announced its decision today in favor of the coalition.
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 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.
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. For more information, go to www.FRLA.org and find us on Twitter @FRLAnews, Facebook and YouTube.
For Immediate Release: November 20, 2017
In spite of the impacts of Hurricane Irma on Florida, FRF is still predicting a 3-3.5% increase in sales over 2016, thanks to high consumer confidence, robust housing, a 10-yr low unemployment rate and 100+ million tourists
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association celebrating its 80th year of representing retailers, announced today it expects holiday sales to increase 3-3.5 percent over last year, thanks to a healthy economy and a number of positive economic indicators.
“This season should be another strong one for our retail members, thanks to a 10 year low unemployment rate, a strong housing market, high consumer confidence and 100 million tourists leaving with more than what they came with,” said FRF President/CEO Scott Shalley. “Due to the increased competition among retailers, consumers should expect great deals and discounts as they enjoy the annual holiday shopping season with friends and family.”
The impact of Hurricane Irma on Floridians played a significant factor in the final forecast number for FRF. The storm caused damage in major population areas in Southwest Florida, South Florida and the Keys and the Jacksonville area. Many residents are still recovering and possibly unable to spend as much on holiday shopping this year. However, the overall strength of Florida’s economy and the resilience of the state’s retail industry will help make up for this potential loss of sales.
“Hurricane Irma hit our state extremely hard, particularly in these areas, and we factored in this impact in our forecast, but we feel the overall strength of our economy and the incredible recovery efforts that have taken place will help lessen the impact on retail sales this holiday season,” said Shalley.
Consumers are expected to spend an average of $967 on gifts, according to FRF’s partners at the National Retail Federation, which is up significantly from 2016’s average of $935 and higher than the previous record of $952 in 2015. This breaks down to $608 spent on gifts for family, friends and co-workers, $218 spent on decorations, flowers and greeting cards, and $141 spent by the shopper on themselves. Total spending is expected to increase to more than $678 billion, up from $655 billion last year thanks in part to the continued growth and spending of Millennials.
Consumer spending accounts for 75 percent of Florida’s gross domestic product totaling $155 billion each year. In particular, the holiday shopping season accounts for 20-40 percent of a retailer’s annual sales and steady year-over-year sales shows increasing economy stability. Florida’s retail industry totals more than 270,000 businesses which employ 2.7 million Floridians, and is responsible for one out of every five jobs.
One continued significant advantage that Florida enjoys over most other states is the influx of more than 100 million tourists, almost all of whom leave the state with more than they brought, bringing even more buying power with them. Surveys consistently list shopping as one of the top activities on the agendas of Florida vacations. And in an effort to attract shoppers of all types, retailers will be offering exclusive incentives, low prices, price-matching options, hot-selling toys and free shipping, which continues to be one of the most popular requested promotions each year.
“Tourism continues to be a powerful influence on the success of Florida’s economy and specifically the retail industry, and 2017 is expected to set a new record on number of tourists which is great news for our members,” said Shalley.
Sunshine State shoppers will load up on the most popular items this year, led by gift cards for the 11th year in a row, followed by clothing and accessories, books, movies or music, electronics, home décor and furnishings and jewelry. The most popular toys this holiday season will include Hatchimals, Toys from the new Star Wars and Justice League movies, Barbies and LEGOS, Nerf toys, and toys from Disney Junior shows.
One piece of advice to shoppers is if you see a good deal on an item early on in your shopping, make sure to buy it then as opposed to waiting and hoping for a better deal. Just as technology has made shoppers smarter and more savvy, it has also allowed retailers to better respond to demand by matching their inventory and not overstocking their merchandise. Speaking of early shopping, 40 percent of shoppers began their holiday shopping before Halloween to help spread out their spending with 29 percent complete by Black Friday.
“Retailers are responding to the demand by consumers to have the holiday shopping experience prior to the traditional late November/December timeframe,” said Shalley. “This is why consumers are already seeing holiday decorations and themes in stores, as retailers try to get shoppers in the Christmas shopping mindset earlier.”
One of the positive impacts of the holiday shopping season is the increase in employment. These jobs include workers stocking inventory, customer service, warehousing and even management. Nationally, the industry is expected to see between 500,000-555,000 seasonal jobs. The increase in hiring and the increase in economic activity during the holiday season have a positive impact on industries outside of just retail.
“The holiday season is a great time for new or returning professionals to enter the workforce as millions of temporary jobs turn into full-time jobs once the holiday shopping season is over,” said Shalley. “We look forward to the thousands of new jobs that families will have this year as a result of Florida’s retail industry.”
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 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.
Florida Retail Federation President & CEO R. Scott Shalley released the following statement in support of Governor Rick Scott's proposed $180 million tax cut package:
“We thank Governor Scott for proposing his tax package, which includes a record-tying 10-day back-to-school sales tax holiday and one for disaster preparedness, saving Florida families more than $88 million and providing increased sales to Sunshine State retailers. We are eager to see the positive impact these two important holidays will have in both helping students prepare for school and also ensuring that residents and visitors can buy the critical supplies they need to protect themselves both before and after a natural disaster.”
For Immediate Release: October 18, 2017
Average person expected to spend $86 this year on Halloween candy, costumes, decorations and greeting cards; total spending nationally to set record of $9.1 billion
TALLAHASSEE, FL – The Florida Retail Federation (FRF), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 75 years, announced today that consumer spending on Halloween is expected to once again set an all-time high with the average person spending more than $86, up from $83 in 2016. Total spending nationally on Halloween is expected to reach $9.1 billion up from $8.4 billion last year.
“Another year of expected record spending on Halloween festivities is great news for Florida’s retailers,” said FRF President and CEO R. Scott Shalley. “The crafty retailers in our state will be able to scare up more sales by offering special discounts and other incentives to get more people in their stores to purchase costumes, decorations and candy.”
According to a recent survey done by FRF’s national partners at the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend an average of $86.13, up from last year’s $82.93, with 179 million Americans planning to partake in Halloween festivities, up from 171 million in 2016.
According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $3.4 billion on costumes (purchased by 69 percent of Halloween shoppers), $2.7 billion on candy (95 percent), another $2.7 billion on decorations (72 percent) and $410 million on greeting cards (37 percent).
According to Candystore.com, the most popular Halloween candy in the Sunshine State, based on sales data from 2007-2016, are Skittles (630,938 pounds sold), followed by Snickers (587,385) and Reese’s Cups (224,637). The top three most popular Halloween candies across the country are Skittles, Reese’s Cups and M&M’s.
Among Halloween celebrants, 71 percent plan to hand out candy, 49 percent will decorate their home or yard, 48 percent will wear costumes, 46 percent will carve a pumpkin, 35 percent will throw or attend a party, 31 percent will take their children trick-or-treating, 23 percent will visit a haunted house and 16 percent will dress pets in costumes.
Thirty-five percent of consumers will find their inspiration for the perfect costume online, while 30 percent will look in stores, 20 percent will ask friends and family, 18 percent will look to Facebook or Pinterest, 17 percent will be influenced by pop culture and 14 percent by print media.
When it comes to buying costumes and other Halloween supplies, 47 percent of shoppers will visit discount stores and 38 percent will go to a specialty Halloween store or costume store. In addition, 25 percent will visit supermarkets, 24 percent will buy at department stores and 22 percent will shop online.
More than 3.7 million children plan to dress as their favorite action character or superhero, 2.9 million as Batman characters and another 2.9 million as their favorite princess while 2.2 million will dress as a cat, dog, monkey or other animal.
|Costumes Ranked: Children|
|Animal (Cat, Dog, Monkey, etc.)||4.1%|
|Star Wars Character||3.1%|
|Marvel Superhero (excl. Spider-Man)||2.9%|
Proving that Halloween isn’t just for kids, a record number of adults (48 percent) plan to dress in costume this year. More than 5.8 million adults plan to dress like a witch, 3.2 million as their favorite Batman character, 3 million as an animal (cat, dog, cow, etc.), and 2.8 million as a pirate.
|Costumes Ranked: Adults|
|Batman Character (Batman, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, etc.)
|Animal (Cat, Dog, etc.)
|Marvel Superhero (Spider-Man, Captain America, etc.)
|DC Superhero (excluding Batman, Wonder Woman)||2.3%|
|Star Wars Character||2.3%|
|Slasher Movie Villain (Jason, Scream, etc.)
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.
Florida Retail Federation President & CEO R. Scott Shalley released the following statement in support of Governor Rick Scott's and Speaker Richard Corcoran's proposals to address opioid abuse in Florida:
“We applaud Governor Scott and Speaker Corcoran for presenting this vital framework to protect Florida families and enhance the education and responsibilities of prescribers. FRF represents thousands of pharmacy stores in Florida and the recommendations provided by the Governor and Speaker today will serve as significant steps to reducing both the current abuse of opioids as well as preventing future addictions. Specifically, limiting the frequency of prescribing controlled substances and mandating that prescribers check the PDMP will help to curtail any abuses.”
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida Department of Revenue Executive Director Leon Biegalski issued an emergency order to extend certain filing due dates for Florida businesses registered with the Department in each of the 67 counties. Order of Emergency Waiver Number 17-235-DOR-003 changes the filing due date for sales and use tax, as well as fuel tax returns and payments to Sept. 29, 2017.
Sales and use tax, as well as fuel tax returns and payments are normally due on the 1st day of the month, and late after the 20th day of the month. For electronic filers, submissions initiated by 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 28 will be deemed timely filed.
The Department has implemented the filing date extensions pursuant to subsection 213.055(2), F.S., which authorizes the Executive Director of the Department of Revenue to carry out certain actions during a declared state of emergency. On Sept. 4, 2017, Governor Rick Scott issued Executive Order Number 17-235 declaring a state of emergency in response to the threat of Hurricane Irma.
The Department’s taxpayer services phone line is available at 800-352-3671 for taxpayers who have additional questions. Visit the Florida Sales and Use Tax webpage and the Florida Fuel Tax webpage for additional tax information. For more information or to sign up for email updates from the Department of Revenue, visitfloridarevenue.com.
As IRMA exits Florida and continues to diminish, I hope that this email finds your and yours safe and secure. Many of you and your businesses have suffered significant loss and are facing a daunting path to recovery and return to operations. Please know that we are with you and we will work tirelessly to help facilitate a complete return to operation for your businesses. Floridians need you and we know that there are immediate challenges relating to reentry and restoration of power. FRF and FPMA team members remain embedded within the State Emergency Operations Center and we are working closely with all level of government to clear hurdles to safe, efficient return to operations.
While I am proud of our team and our efforts, I am even more touched by the response of Florida's retailers. The retail community has been incredible in responding to the needs of Floridians and providing food and water, fuel, life saving medical supplies, construction/safety materials, safe harbor to pets and much, much more. I could not be more proud to be associated with such an impressive group of companies. Thank you for all you are doing to provide much needed products and services to your friends and neighbors.
While I know all of you are eager to reopen, please keep in mind that much of Florida still faces life safety dangers. We urge you to respect law enforcement officials as they complete search and rescue efforts and clear areas for reentry. If you have questions or concerns, let us know and we will work to facilitate solutions.
Governor Scott has declared a state of emergency for Hurricane Irma (link to Executive Order). The path of the storm is not clear at this point, but the potential for serious impact to Florida is significant. The time to prepare is NOW. We encourage you to consider the following as you prepare your businesses and your homes for this event:
Please visit www.floridadisaster.org for information and guidance regarding preparation and response, forecasts, and other resources from Florida’s State Emergency Response Team. The declaration includes the entire state, which means emergency pricing regulations are in effect for the entire state. This means that the state will be monitoring how necessary commodities are being priced throughout the emergency.